The South African batsmen were once again bamboozled by Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav in the ongoing ODI series against India. However, the Proteas batsman JP Duminy acknowledged the fact that the hosts need to go back to the drawing board and re-work their plan to tackle the Indian wrist-spin duo.
Chasing a daunting target of 303, South Africa once again succumbed under pressured before Chahal (4/46) and Yadav (4/23) to end way behind at 179 all out in 40 overs. The hosts lost the third ODI by 124 runs to surrender an unassailable 3-0 lead in the six-match series.
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Talking about the loss, Duminy said, “What they’ve done really well is assess the conditions in terms of what they need to do, what sort of speed and length they need to bowl. They (Chahal and Yadav) haven’t made it easy for us to get singles. A lot of us have not picked their googlies. We’ve not been good enough. They’ve bowled well enough not to let us play according to our game plan. We’ve got to come up with different ways of countering them. They’ve outplayed us in all departments.”
Duminy said with three matches remaining the series is not yet over and the hosts would need to do some series thinking before the fourth ODI. He said, “I think there should be a plan. There’s no doubt that we will reconvene after this game and break down where we are going wrong. It’s pretty obvious that we haven’t played their spinners well enough. The series is not lost yet and that should be a big enough motivator for us.”
Chahal and Yadav have been at their commanding best, snaring 21 wickets between them in three matches so far. Despite Duminy and Aiden Markram’s put on 78 runs for the second wicket, but after the latter’s stumping South Africa’s chase fell apart. JP described, “At that point, we were building quite a nice partnership so it was just about rotating the strike. We know at a venue like this if you have wickets in hand you give yourselves a chance chasing eight or nine an over.”
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When asked about the phenomenal form of the India skipper Virat Kohli which scored 34th ODI century, 160*, his second-highest score in this format, Duminy replied, “He’s (Kohli) up there with the world’s best. You have to take the opportunities when it comes, especially in the first 20 balls. We’ve created chances but unfortunately we haven’t got grab those. He has had an unbelievable year and he has just carried on. We’re going to have to come up with different plans for getting through him.”
South Africa now has a mountain to climb for turning the series around. The hosts now must win all three remaining games to draw the series level. They would be bolstered by the return of AB de Villiers, who missed the first three ODIs due to a finger injury. Speaking of the same, Duminy said, “I think every cricketer has been through this at some point in their career. We’re looking forward to the fourth ODI and having AB (de Villiers) back is going to be a massive boost. He is one of the world’s best players in one-day cricket. He will bring confidence to the team and his leadership within the group will add a lot of value as well.”