South Africa defeated India comfortably by 31 runs in first of the three-match ODI series in Paarl on January 19. The hosts were in trouble twice during the game but they managed to make a comeback and trump the visitors. Centuries from Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen first helped them post 296 runs on the board. Later, India were cruising in the chase with fifties from Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan.
But India lost their way after the second-wicket partnership was broken. More than the collapse in batting, KL Rahul, the skipper, using only five bowlers led to experts criticizing him a lot. Despite having a sixth bowling option in Venkatesh Iyer, India didn’t use him at all over the course of 50 overs. The likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shardul Thakur both turned out to be expensive during their 10-over spells.
And despite Bavuma and Van der Dussen adding more than 200 runs, India never used sixth bowler which left many baffled. Throwing light on the same, India opener Shikhar Dhawan has stated that the spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravi Ashwin were doing well as they were getting some turn too from the surface. Interestingly, both the spinners conceded 53 runs each in their 10 overs with only Ashwin getting a wicket.
“We didn’t need him because the spinners did well and there was some turn in the wicket. Fast bowlers were mostly used at the end. In the middle-overs when the wicket was not falling, our thinking was to bring back the main bowlers to get the breakthrough but we couldn’t do that. Then, in the end, it was important to bring our main bowlers, like our spinners,” Dhawan said in the post-match press conference.
Shikhar Dhawan also gave an advice to the young and inexperienced India batters for batting according to the situation. The visitors needed a partnership after losing Kohli and Dhawan in quick succession but it didn’t happen.
“That you need to play according to the demands of the situation, should always put the team first, that your individual game is important but at the same time practicality and knowing how much you can mould your game for the team is also important. Like if the team needs a partnership, then you should build one and those kind of things. And I feel that it will all get refined with time and experience,” Dhawan added.