The stand-in skipper, KL Rahul finally acknowledged that the Indian team has been repeating mistakes through the course of the ODI series in South Africa as they suffered their first-ever whitewash in the ODI in South Africa. Rahul added that India needs to have some hard conversations within the team for getting back on track to prepare well for the 2023 World Cup. India was on the losing side in a thrilling game in Cape Town on Sunday as they fell short of 4 runs while chasing a stiff target of 288.
India failed to chase 297 in the first ODI, failed to defend 288 in the 2nd ODI, and failed in the chase once again in the final ODI. Deepak Chahar came up with a valiant effort, hitting a 34-ball 54 while batting down the order but India witnessed another middle-order collapse and eventually lost the game. While captain Rahul got out early, Virat Kohli (65) and Shikhar Dhawan (61) got to good starts but failed to make it into a big one.
Talking about the game, KL Rahul said, “Deepak gave us a real chance of winning the game. Quite an exciting game, just disappointed we ended up on the losing side. We gave ourselves a real chance, something we can learn from and get better. Quite obvious where we’ve gone wrong. No shying away from it. Even with the ball, we haven’t been hitting the right areas consistently. Have played well in patches but haven’t built pressure over a long period.”
However, KL Rahul came in support of the team, saying that there was no lack of passion and energy on the field despite conceding an unbeatable lead as early as the 2nd ODI. Rahul, however, maintained that it’s time for India to look into the mirror and fix their issues ahead of a huge tournament like the 2023 World Cup.
KL Rahul elaborated, “We can’t fault the boys for the passion and the effort we put in on the field. In terms of skill and understanding the situation – sometimes we’ve gone wrong. But it happens – we’ve got some new guys in the team. In the one-day series at times we’ve kept doing the same mistakes. It’s early in our journey to the World Cup. We can go back, have some hard conversations. Have had a great time in SA. We’ve shown a lot of fight.”
It was not an ideal start to KL Rahul’s captaincy stint in ODIs as India were clean swept. Head coach Rahul Dravid will have some tough questions to answer after losing 5 out of 6 matches in his first overseas tour.