Rahul laments batting woes in ODI loss to South Africa

“We trust the players to come up with their own gameplan,” he said.

K L Rahul plays a shot during the 2nd ODI match against South Africa at St George’s Park, Gqeberha. (ANI Photo)

Pramod Thomas

THE inability of set batters to reach three figures and the loss of eight wickets for 97 runs left India well short of a par score, captain KL Rahul admitted following their eight-wicket One-Day International loss to South Africa in Gqeberha on Tuesday (19).

After being sent in to bat at St George’s Park in the second match of a three games series, India were going well at 114 for two, but were bowled out for 211.

They failed to capitalise on the platform laid by a fine 62 from opener Sai Sudharsan and 56 from captain KL Rahul, as they head into Thursday’s (21) decider in Paarl with the series level at 1-1.

“It was a hard wicket to bat on, but a couple of us got set. If one of us, including me, could have gone on to get a hundred we could have controlled the innings and got 50-60 runs extra, which could have made a big difference,” Rahul said.

“When we were batting we thought 240-250 would be a good total. That is what we were hoping for but we lost wickets at crucial intervals.”

Rahul has full faith in his batters ahead of the series decider.

“We trust the players to come up with their own gameplan. Games like this will help them learn and get better as a cricketer.”

South African opener Reeza Hendricks (52) was dropped at slip early in the home side’s innings.

“In the first 10 overs we beat the edge quite a lot. We had a chance with a catch that we missed. That might have made a difference. But we leave that here at the ground today and focus on the next game,” Rahul said.

South Africa were outplayed in the first game of the series as they lost by eight wickets but were vastly improved in Gqeberha.

“It was a much better overall performance,” captain Aiden Markram said. “It was going around when the openers went out to bat. They put up a 100-run partnership and set up the game.”

Left-handed opener Tony de Zorzi, 26, scored an unbeaten 119 in 122 balls to win the game in his fourth ODI.

“It was huge for him,” Markram said. “To put in a performance like that, to remain not out at the end and to remember how the crowd was to him, we were pretty much in awe.

“It was fantastic to watch. Hopefully the first of many for him. The dressing room enjoyed it.”