Neil McKenzie Urges South Africans To Find Ways To Tackle Wristspinners
By CricShots - Feb 2, 2018 10:36 am
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Former South Africa batsman Neil McKenzie feels that the South African team needs to improve their batting performance against the Indian wristspinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal if they wish to give India a fight in the ODI series. Yadav and Chahal scalped five wickets between them to restrict South Africa to 269 for 8, a target which India surpassed with six wickets in hand to take a 1-0 lead in the six-match ODI series.

Indians wristspinners snatched the game away from South Africa

Talking about the game, as quoted in PTI, McKenzie said, “You know what sort of total you need at Durban and losing wickets at regular intervals didn’t help South Africa. Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav bowled very well. The Indian pacers had asked questions upfront with bounce and then the two wrist spinners came into play. They tied South Africa down, cut off the runs and then got two big scalps of Quinton de Kock and David Miller.”

However, Neil reckoned that the hosts’ batsmen have the ability to overcome the surprise element of the spin duo. He said, “South African batsmen wouldn’t have seen a lot of these leggies, so they will need to go back and do their homework. They need to start countering this wrist spin from the next ODI. The partnership between Faf du Plessis and Chris Morris got South Africa back in the game, but they needed more firepower at the back end. It didn’t happen because they kept losing wickets at regular intervals.”

Also read: Indian wristspinners reveal their secrets

If not for skipper Faf du Plessis’ ninth ODI century, South Africa could have folded for a lesser total on Thursday. But it was the Indian skipper Virat Kohli, who diminished the effect of Du Plessis’ century with his first ODI ton in the rainbow nation and 33rd of his career. 

Praising Kohli, McKenzie said, “He (Kohli) played great innings and mixed it up with a lot of aggression. What I like about him are the different elements he has. He has got the power play, he can rotate strike and manipulate the field. He doesn’t go from 1st gear to 5th gear straightaway. Virat has a lot of gears. It was a terrific knock and it is always good to see two captains leading from the front.”

The difference between the two teams yesterday was the performance of the middle order. While South Africa collapsed and left it late, Ajinkya Rahane’s 189-run stand with Virat sealed the game for the visitors. Neil said, “Rahane’s strike rate was better than Kohli’s. I thought he (Rahane) looked positive throughout his knock, which was key. Whenever he was falling behind the run-rate, he would take a risk but it was a calculated risk.”


The second ODI of the series will be played in Centurion on Sunday. With India stopping South Africa’s 17-match winning streak at home, McKenzie expects a cracker of an ODI series. He said, “India is always a big threat. India is starting to prove they can play here and this is a bumper ODI series in the offing. South Africa is known to start slow. They have the blueprint and have won 17 consecutive matches at home before this. So they know the gameplan. It is all about executing that and taking the attack to India’s spinners.”