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Ken Borland

Proteas have every reason to be like an excited puppy, but Shamsi says they must start again

Posted on February 14, 2022 by Ken

The Proteas have every reason to be like an excited puppy bouncing around after winning the first ODI against India – making it three wins in a row over the superpowers of cricket – but key bowler Tabraiz Shamsi says they have to forget about what has gone before and approach Friday’s second ODI at Boland Park as the start of a new series.

If South Africa do win on Friday then they have clinched the three-match series 2-0 even before they go to Newlands over the weekend. Following the heroics in the Test series, the 31-run win in the first ODI was an impressive way to add to the feel-good factor and keep the momentum going.

“It was a very nice way to start the series, beating one of the strongest teams in the world, which shows we are also one of the strongest teams,” Shamsi said on Thursday. “But it’s about focusing on the next game now.

“We will go into it with much the same plan. We have made a great start but we need to forget about that game now and play the second match like it’s the first game of the series.

“Hopefully we can go 2-0 up and close off the series. But we are both very competitive teams,” Shamsi said.

The highlight of the first ODI was the incredible 204-run partnership between Temba Bavuma (110) and Rassie van der Dussen (129*), the pair coming together in the 18th over with South Africa in trouble on 68/3.

But the way they handled the dual spin menace of Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal showed the massive improvements in playing spin that are evident in the Proteas batting line-up. That will hold them in good stead in the second ODI, which is also being played in Paarl.

“It was a very slow pitch and there was some assistance for the spinners,” Shamsi said. “It was more of a subcontinental wicket than a South African one, which makes it even sweeter to outplay them.

“It was a massive statement the way Temba and Rassie batted. It was a tough situation when they came in, but the way they counter-punched and took the initiative away from India was incredible.

“Especially the way they played spin in helpful conditions, it shows that there has been a lot of growth in our team,” Shamsi said.

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