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Ken Borland

Not the World Cup send-off Proteas wanted as batsmen not able to produce the goods under pressure

Posted on December 27, 2022 by Ken

South Africa’s batsmen were not able to produce the goods under pressure, being bundled out for just 99 in the decisive third ODI against India on Tuesday in Delhi, a seven-wicket thrashing with 30.5 overs to spare not being the send-off the Proteas would have wanted as they now head to the T20 World Cup in Australia.

It’s not as if the pitch looked like the surface of the moon and provided extravagant turn or was a green mamba that seamed around, but South Africa’s batsmen still found a way to be bundled out in a miserable 27.1 overs.

Much credit must go to a superb Indian attack that barely erred in terms of line and length, and thoroughly exploited the reasonable assistance on offer from a pitch that provided a good contest between bat and ball.

Wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav, as he often has been against the Proteas, was the most successful of the Indian bowlers as he raked in 4/18 in just 4.1 overs. But the left-armer only joined the attack in the 20th over, when South Africa were already deep in the mire on 71/6.

Having been sent in to bat, off-spinner Washington Sundar (4-0-15-2) made the initial strike, bowling wonderfully well around the wicket to the left-hander Quinton de Kock and removing him in the third over for just six.

A double strike by paceman Mohammed Siraj (5-0-17-2), removing Janneman Malan (15) and Reeza Hendricks (3), reduced South Africa to 26/3 in the powerplay.

The introduction of more spin brought even more pain for the Proteas as orthodox left-armer Shahbaz Ahmed claimed two wickets and deciphering Kuldeep was out-of-reach for the bowlers.

Heinrich Klaasen battled on for the Proteas, scoring 34 off 42 balls, before he was undone on the back foot – like many of his colleagues – and bowled by Shahbaz.

Marco Jansen was the last man out for 14 as South Africa were left on their lowest ever ODI score against India, and their second-worst first-innings effort in all ODIs, only their 83 all out against England in 2008 being lower.

The Proteas’ focus is clearly on the T20 World Cup and giving players game time, with Temba Bavuma and Tabraiz Shamsi again sitting out as they continue to recover from illness. Keshav Maharaj has now caught the bug and he sat out Tuesday’s game, David Miller captaining the ODI side for the first time. It is also the first time in ODI history that three different captains have been used in a three-match series.

Lungi Ngidi, Jansen and Andile Phehlukwayo were brought in for the decisive third ODI.

India’s top-order made the same pitch look like a road as they raced to their meagre target in 19.1 overs.

Shubnam Gill led the way with 49 off 57 balls, while Shreyas Iyer finished with 28 not out from 23 deliveries.

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