4th ODI: That was massive, says Heinrich Klaasen after win against India
Heinrich Klaasen, one of South Africa's batting heroes, reckons Saturday's ODI win over India has lifted spirits in hosts' camp; says return of AB provides positive vibes
SA's Andile Pehlukwayo celebrates after winning the fourth ODI against India at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Saturday. Pic/AFP
South Africa woke up from their slumber well in time to prevent India from running away with the six-match ODI series here at the Wanderers on Saturday. The hosts won a rain-affected tie by five wickets through the Duckworth-Lewis system and altered the series scoreline to 3-1 after India won the Durban, Centurion and Cape Town games.
Heinrich Klaasen hits a six off leggie Yuzvendra Chahal in the 22nd over of the South Africa innings. Pic/AFP
Electing to bat, India rode on opener Shikhar Dhawan's 13th ODI century to post 289-7 in their 50 overs. The match was interrupted by rain and inclement weather on more than one occasion which saw the target being reduced to 202 runs off 28 overs for South Africa.
SA's disastrous start
The Indian bowlers dominated South African batsmen in the initial stages. With their top four batsmen back in the pavilion by the 17th over with just 102 runs on the board, the Proteas seemed to have lost their way and headed for certain defeat.
David 'Killer' Miller clubs one on the leg side as MS Dhoni watches in dismay on Saturday. Pic/AP, PTI
When David Miller was bowled while trying to hit an incoming delivery from leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, the visitors must have thought that the match was as good as in the bag. But miraculously for South Africa, television replays revealed that the delivery was a no-ball and Miller was back in the middle. That turned out to be the turning point.
What a response!
Miller celebrated his luck by smashing pacer Hardik Pandya for three consecutive boundaries in the next over and the momentum abruptly turned in the hosts' favour.
Chahal did manage to dismiss Miller eventually, trapping him leg before. But Miller, who scored 39 runs off 28 balls with four boundaries and two sixes, had turned the momentum decisively South Africa's way. Heinrich Klaasen continued the good work, plundering an unbeaten 43 off 27 deliveries with the help of five boundaries and a six.
Klaasen was surprised that India did not bowl Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah at the death and instead opted for the wrist spinners, Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. "I was very surprised," Klaasen said about Kohli's strategic call to keep Kumar and Bumrah away from the action at the death after South Africa's target was revised.
"David Miller and I thought they would have kept them [the pacers] at back for two overs each. But I think how this series went that led them to bowl their spinners for the remaining of the overs. I was very surprised about it," said Klaasen.
The 26-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman, who replaced injured Quinton de Kock, said that it was Yadav who worried the Proteas in the series so far with his variations. "I wouldn't say [we have solved the spin riddle]. The problem at the beginning of the series was that we didn't pick the chinaman [Yadav]. That obviously makes the difference not to be able to score against him," said Klaasen.
Homework on spinners
"No one really struggled to pick Chahal but he seemed to pick up a lot of the wickets. "We struggled to pick up the chinaman's variations. But we did a lot of homework on him over the last two-three days and that seemed to work today." Klaasen proved to be the real difference as he punished the spinners with a plethora of inventive shots, and chased umpteen wide deliveries, hitting them in an unorthodox manner.
But the batsman it was a calculated risk which he took against the spinners. "We were very calculated in our approach there. Maybe it didn't look like it! But it was all calculated and planned out, what we wanted to do," he remarked. Klaasen said the win gave his side a massive boost in the series.
"This is a massive confidence-booster for us. We didn't have the confidence earlier, but it has lifted our spirits. It has given belief in the dressing room," he said. "It is also nice to have AB de Villiers back again. The environment changes when he comes back. He is a huge influence in the change room," he added.
Slow SA fined
South Africa were fined for maintaining a slow over-rate in the fourth ODI against India on Saturday. ICC match referee Andy Pycroft imposed the fine after Aiden Markram's side were ruled to be one over short of their target in the match when time allowances were taken into consideration.Markram has been fined 20 per cent of his matchfee, while the South African players received a 10 per cent fine.
India 289-7 in 50 overs (S Dhawan 109, V Kohli 75; L Ngidi 2-52, K Rabada 2-58) lost to South Africa 207-5 in 25.3 overs (H Klaasen 43*, D Miller 39; K Yadav 2-51) by 5 wickets (D/L method) India lead series 3-1