After facing injury woes of three crucial players, the South African cricket team is 2-0 down in the six-match ODI series against India. A lot of the credit for the lead of Team India goes to the brilliant performances of the two wrist spinners. South Africa’s problems might appear to be increasing after losing the first 2 ODIs, but their pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada is not panicking.
On Tuesday, Kagiso showed calmness in facing South Africa ahead of the third ODI at Newlands. He said, “There are a few problems. I wouldn’t say there’s a lot. Sometimes when you do badly it seems like there’s a lot more going wrong than what really is happening. Failure is going to happen. It’s going to happen again.”
The Proteas’ batting line-up that has lost 13 wickets to Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav and ahead of the third ODI they gained practice from a number of wrist spinners in the nets before the team retired to the dressing room for lengthy discussions.
Also read: Rabada's run-out
In the ODI series, the host bowlers are failing to put pressure on the Indian batsmen as they have been able to pick just five wickets while they have lost 18. They will also need to figure out an apt replacement for their two of their senior-most players, AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis, as well as wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock. Heinrich Klaasen is set to make his international debut at Newlands as the wicketkeeper-batsman.
Rabada fancied seeing the challenges as an opportunity for the team to learn more about itself. He said, “When you’re losing it’s tough to find an answer. There are so many answers that you can throw out there. You need to speak the right language in your mind, be really strong mentally, and all you can do is strive to perfect your skills on the pitch. The most important thing is for us to stay positive and try not to seek too many answers. When you’re winning, you don’t ask yourself too many questions. We need to stay positive and try to change the momentum.”
With so many inexperienced players in their setup, South Africa might need a runaway individual performance to spark the turnaround, although Rabada said they would take a win any way they can get it. He said, “In an ideal world, to get close to the perfect game, you need a lot of people score runs, or a lot of people take wickets. Or you need individual brilliance. We’ll take either. We know cricket is a game of ups and downs. We need to go back, see where we’re going wrong, calm down and do our business on the field.”
Kagiso also acknowledged the fact that as much as has gone wrong for South Africa, credit needs to go to India for two strong performances. Indian seamers have bowled with precision and skipper Virat Kohli has scored 158 runs in two innings for just one dismissal. Kohli has also been well supported by the Indian top order, who has looked much more comfortable than they did in the Test series.
Praising the performance of the visitors, Rabada said, “We clearly haven’t come to the party. It’s not acceptable at all. But India is a strong team. I know they’ve been playing all their games at home, but they’ve been playing good cricket. They reached the final of the Champions Trophy, so they’ve had a good foundation for quite a while. It doesn’t help that we have been going through a few changes and not been in the best form since the Champions Trophy in one-day cricket. We are still trying to catch up at the moment. Hopefully, it comes pretty soon.”