Five lessons from the second One-Day International between India and South Africa, according to Kobus Pretorius.
Miller under fire
Going out for a first-ball duck was the last thing David Miller needed as South Africa tried to chase 248 for victory. Granted, it was a good delivery, but the fact is Miller is now under serious pressure to perform. His run of scores without a fifty now extend to 12 innings. However, Miller is likely to keep his place because there isn’t a like-for-like replacement available in the squad. It is here where Rilee Rossouw’s absence will be felt. Chris Morris is the only possible option, but it is doubtful whether his batting is good enough to bat at No 7.
Reading the game better
Quinton de Kock is just 22 years old, but he has been playing international cricket for two years now and needs to learn how to read a game. He threw his wicket away in the 10th over by trying to loft a Harbhajan Singh delivery over the boundary, but instead only succeeded in finding the fielder at long-off for a simple catch. De Kock had already hit the first ball of the over for four, so it wasn’t necessary to take that risk. South Africa (5.33) were well ahead of the required run-rate (4.87) at that stage and hopefully De Kock will get better in this aspect of his game.
India need a collective effort
The hosts were suppose to lose this game, just as South Africa were suppose to lose the first one. MS Dhoni was the hero this time, succeeding where he fell short in the first ODI by hitting a match-winning 92 not out to give India a fighting chance. This time South Africa’s bowlers managed to get Rohit Sharma early, and another farcical run-out ensured that Virat Kohli’s frustrating run-drought extended to 13 innings without a fifty. India will need a bigger team effort, especially from the batting order, if they want to win this series. So far they have relied too heavily on Sharma and Dhoni to win them games, while they managed to cope well without the injured R Ashwin. The Proteas will hope Kohli’s struggles continue a little while longer.
Taking a chance
The controversial dismissal of Farhaan Behardien was disappointing to watch after he was given out caught behind off the bowling of Harbhajan Singh. The snickometer clearly showed there was no contact between bat and ball, yet the umpire decided to give it out anyway. It was a massive turning point in the chase as Behardien was South Africa’s last recognised batsman at the crease. Instead of being given out, the delivery should have been called a wide for sliding down the leg-side. India took a chance with a big appeal, and in the heat of the moment the umpire caved and lifted his finger. It helped India win the game and well done to them, but hopefully incidents like these don’t happen again.
Proteas need luck with injuries
AB de Villiers came in to bat at No 5 after he twitched his back towards the end of the Indian innings, while Faf du Plessis twisted his knee in the first game but manage to keep on playing. The two of them are the Proteas’ in-form batsmen at the moment and losing one or both of them to injury will be a massive blow. There isn’t decent batting cover in the squad, so De Villiers and Du Plessis’s workload should be carefully managed during the rest of the series. De Villiers said he should be fine to play in the third ODI, but anything can happen so keeping the two of them fit is paramount to South Africa’s chances.