Where we need to get better is right in front of us: K.L. Rahul
PAARL: A fragile middle-order and lack of wickets in the middle overs are obvious areas of improvement needed for the Indian team, skipper K.L. Rahul admitted after an embarrassing ODI series defeat against South Africa here on January 21.
For the second game in a row, Indian bowlers looked pedestrian especially in the middle overs.
“We are trying to get better at things we haven’t done well in the past. Partnerships, middle order becomes crucial when we are entering a big tournament, want to get better at bowling in the middle overs and these are the few things which are really obvious and right in front of us.
“We have spoken about it and it’s only up to us to get better, learn from it and find a way,” said Rahul at the post-match presentation.
Boland Park did not offer typical South African conditions with the pitch playing on the slower side.
“It does feel like one of the wickets at home and I don’t think it was pitch where they could have chased down 280 that easily. Credit to them, they are showing us the importance of partnerships and putting pressure early on against the bowlers.” Rahul could still find positives from the first two games despite heavy losses.
“The way Shikhar and Virat batted in the first game was very good, and today Rishabh batted, the way he managed the first 20 balls and then he took down the spinners.
“He is a really important member of the team and Shardul, too, showing us he can bat lower down and make a good contribution. Jasprit has been the standout bowler for us and Yuzi has been good today,” the skipper said.
“The energy has been great, it’s been tough on the body staying in the bubbles. We love challenges and we have come short in the first 2 games, we will look ahead to the third game and try and win that one. Too early to say (about team changes for the next game),” added Rahul.
After the Test series triumph, South Africa have also sealed the ODI series. Not many believed that the hosts could upstage the mighty Indians.
“Coming into this series from the Test side, no-one had much faith in us and that gave us a lot of motivation. The performances in the last month have been really good. Spinners have done a splendid job. It’s a great thing,” skipper Temba Bavuma said.