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Centurion: Dec 12, 2013
Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni sought to take the positives from India’s 0-2 One-Day International (ODI) series loss against South Africa, saying that playing limited overs format first would help his side do better in dealing with pace and bounce in the Test series starting December 18.
“Playing the ODIs before the Tests is good to get used to the pace and bounce. That is the positive we can take from the ODI series,” Dhoni said after the third and final one-dayer was washed out due to rains at the innings break.
Electing to bat, South Africa scored an imposing 301 for eight in their allotted 50 overs, riding on Quinton de Kock‘s 101 and captain AB de Villiers‘ 109, before rains denied India to go for the run chase.
“We were looking positive at the break. This was one of the best pitches for the batsmen. We exposed their middle order to some extent and we were able to capitalise with the new ball,” Dhoni rued.
He was happy that pacer Ishant Sharma, who was struggling for form of late, was among the wickets with figures of four for 40 from 10 overs.
“If tall bowlers bowl the right lengths you can get wickets. He [Ishant] worked hard with the bowling coach and played a few domestic games after recent loss of form. He bowled brilliantly today.”
Asked about the South African side, Dhoni said the strong point for the Proteas was the availability of quality all-rounders.
“South Africa have quality all-rounders. Like Jacques Kallis who can be specialist batsman as well as bowler. So they have the luxury to go for five specialist bowlers. South Africa are blessed that they have so many seam bowling all-rounders.”
Man-of-the-Series de Kock, who became the only fifth batsman ever to score a century in three successive ODI innings, said his relaxed approach was the key to his brilliant show.
“I just got to keep working hard to get a couple of more [tons]. I’m quite relaxed and happy on the inside. More happy that we won the series. I switched to another mode to try and survive and push on later. I’m not sure how this series will impact my career.”
South Africa vs India — Live on Ten Cricket
Also on cricketcountry.com