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Ken Borland



Technique & mental strength meant to be safe ports in the storm, but weaknesses for Proteas 0

Posted on December 29, 2022 by Ken

Technique and mental strength are meant to be two safe ports in the storm for batsmen reaching the end of a testing tour of India, but Proteas coach Mark Boucher admitted on Tuesday that those were two areas of weakness as South Africa were bundled out for a miserable 99 all out and thrashed by seven wickets with 30.5 overs to spare in the decisive third ODI in Delhi.

On the eve of their departure for Australia and the T20 World Cup, it is perhaps not too surprising that the batting line-up was not fully focused on the task at hand on Tuesday, which was unsurprisingly fatal against an Indian team full of second-stringers desperate to get into the first-choice XI.

“Coming off a long tour of England and some guys were at the Caribbean Premier League as well, with that sort of schedule you can’t expect the players to be up for every single game,” Boucher said after the series loss.

“That’s when you rely on your technique and mentality to pull you through, but unfortunately we were a bit weak in both of those today. There were soft dismissals up front and technical faults.

“Keeping the players mentally and physically fresh is crucial, we need to get that mental side up, along with the technical. But tonight we did not rock up and India bowled very well.

“They showed good aggression and intent. We need to make sure the guys are really up for the World Cup games, that will bring the best results. We are really gearing ourselves up for that big competition. It will be okay,” Boucher said.

The coach acknowledged that the team were looking forward to playing in Australian conditions that are much more like their own.

“Conditions will be very different in Australia and I think they will suit our batsmen, but especially our fast bowlers more. You need to keep your aggression up over there, and we have good pace and bounce.

“Although I thought we did not show that enough in these ODIs, India showed far more aggression. But the way Anrich Nortje ran in tonight was a positive sign for me, especially going into conditions where he will be more effective,” Boucher said.

Heinrich Klaasen showed that he is your banker when it comes to playing spin, top-scoring for the Proteas with his 34.

Opener Janneman Malan made 15 off 27 balls, but that included three fours, which means he scored just three runs off his other 24 deliveries. That failure to rotate the strike puts your batting line-up under pressure.

But credit must go to the Indian bowlers, especially Mohammed Siraj, who removed both Malan and Reeza Hendricks (3), and the spinners as South Africa were 26/3 in the powerplay.

Not the World Cup send-off Proteas wanted as batsmen not able to produce the goods under pressure 0

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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