Cape Town - Proteas captain, AB de Villiers, gave an honest account of the disappointing 22-run loss to India in the second One-Day International (ODI) in Indore on Wednesday.
De Villiers says the top seven batsmen ‘let themselves down’ in pursuit of a modest total, and failed to capitalise on potential partnerships.
“I think the turning point was the breakthroughs of the partnerships we had upfront,” he said after the match. “I thought Hashim (Amla) and Quinton (De Kock) started well before the Indians broke through there. Then JP (Duminy) and Faf (Du Plessis) batted well and there was another breakthrough. We know that in the game if you get two or three partnerships in your top seven you have to make it count and we didn’t do that. Myself and Farhaan (Behardien) also got going but didn’t make that count. At the end we only have ourselves to blame, but on the flipside you have to give credit to MS (Dhoni) and the Indian team, they never gave up with the bat and ball.”
The bowlers were dominant with the ball to dismiss India for an average score on the traditionally high-scoring ground, and had set their targets on a lower total had it not been for Dhoni’s man-of-the-match onslaught in the latter overs.
“It was a good start with the ball in hand,” he said. “I thought it was a 300 wicket, I thought the bowlers did extremely well and unfortunately we couldn’t break through with MS (Dhoni) and the tail-enders. He has done it before, he is a serious campaigner, he batted well and you have to give credit to that. We tried everything in the book to break the partnership and I thought we did really well to get down to number nine and ten in the end but he paced his innings really well.”
De Villiers defended the positive start from the batsmen, and said it was necessary regardless of the total they were chasing. The squad will move onto to Rajkot for the third ODI with the ‘ball in their court’ according to the skipper, as the momentum continues to swing in the five-match series.
“I thought it was a good wicket,” he said. “I felt in and even if they bowled me another 500 balls tonight I would have played the same shot. I didn’t execute well enough and I thought most of the dismissals were soft. We had great partnerships upfront and with that kind of experience we should be finishing games. I think the responsibility has to fall on the top seven tonight. It’s never nice to lose that way but quite a few lessons will be learnt.”
Sunday 18 October: 3rd ODI India v South Africa - Rajkot
Thursday 22 October: 4th ODI India v South Africa - Chennai
Sunday 25 October: 5th ODI India v South Africa - Mumbai