No sooner have they arrived in South Africa India find themselves struggling to protect their reputation. They have already conceded the ODI series 2-0 on bouncy tracks, but opener Rohit Sharma yesterday dismissed talks of lack of technique.
“In the last game in Durban, the conditions were pretty similar to what we get in India. There was a bit of bounce, but as a batsman you need to understand that you are playing in South Africa. It is really up to each individual how they tackle it, understand their game and adjust accordingly, and know what shots are to be played on these kind of pitches,” said Rohit on the eve of the third and final ODI here.
“What we are missing are partnerships. Over the last year, we have maintained good partnerships and it is not happening here. We need to get one 100-run partnership and a couple of 50-run partnerships. That is not happening, but I am sure we have one more game and hopefully the batsmen will step up and take the responsibility,” he said.
“The ball swings here more than in India. But we have played in England and in the West Indies. Coach Duncan Fletcher has been telling us that this is the best to bat, once you are in. It is about understanding what shots you need to play,” he added.
“We are here to compete and not have fun and just look around South Africa. Since the day we arrived, we have wanted to prove a point. We tried our best, but unfortunately it did not work out. Tomorrow’s game will give us an ideal opportunity. The bowlers and the batsmen will have to step up. We need to get together,” he said.
No drop in intensity
South African all-rounder Ryan McLaren, meanwhile said the hosts will not take it easy even though they have triumphed. “We thought our intensity might drop after the first match, but it was not so. We will definitely not let that happen here either. We are not a team looking for fear in the eyes of the opposition, but at the same time, we want to bowl aggressively and with energy,” McLaren said at the match-eve press conference.
“We have kept up the intensity throughout and psychologically, we have made inroads going into the Test series,” he said. McLaren suggested that the insipid show by the Indians so far could be due to their inability to adapt quickly to the conditions.
“The Indians are a world class side and ranked number one in the ODIs for a good reason. It is only a matter of adapting to the conditions. But we should not neglect the fact that our batsmen have batted well and our bowlers have taken early wickets against the top-three in the Indian line-up,” he asserted.
Live on TV
India vs South Africa 3rd ODI on Ten Cricket, Ten Sports, Ten HD and DD National, 17:00