Faf du Plessis has rued his side’s early batting collapse and inability to forge partnerships for the ODI defeat as he believes SA fell 60 runs short after batting first. He also stated that SA’s limited exposure to spinners caused Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav to run riot in their innings.
After Virat Kohli admitted, following the toss on Thursday, that India would have wanted to bat first on a Durban surface that progressively quickened up, it was clear that South Africa had the upper hand from the very beginning. And despite the early collapse of Hashim Amla at the 30-run mark, du Plessis and Quinton de Kock looked composed at the crease.
However, calamity struck when the wicketkeeper-batsman was wrongly given out and he decided not to review umpire’s decision. From a strong 82/1, South Africa
With mystery spin or wrist spin, it takes you one or two games just to get used to the guys' actions
Faf du Plessis, on SA batsmen failing to deal with India's wrist spinners
Du Plessis also stated that South Africa’s target of 270 lacked 60 odd runs, which could have seen the outcome differently and refused to blame his bowlers for failing to pick India’s wickets at regular intervals.
“I think certainly tonight we needed 300. 260  wasn't enough on that deck. The last two games we played here, we got more runs and won games of cricket. We chased 370 here against Australia. So, think it's unfair to say to the bowlers tonight that they were poor. I thought surely we didn't have runs. The way the wicket played and the way that our bowlers had to try and get wickets made it difficult for them. If we had got 60-70 more, it would have been easier for them out there.
"Generally if you put a good total [in] on the first innings, you could put pressure on the opposition. But because we had a below-par score, because the ball was just skidding off the deck and even Imran wasn't getting any spin, it was just sliding off the deck. Chasing five runs per over was very easy. The only way we could get some pressure on the opposition was if you can get three or four [wickets] in the first 10 overs but we couldn't do that," he said.
South Africa’s failure to deal with India’s wrist spinners was yet another crucial issue that the side will have to attend ahead of the next ODI. The duo of Kuldeep Yadav (3/34) and Yuzvendra Chahal (2/45) pretty much left South Africa helpless in the middle with the skipper’s fighting knock of 120 runs, the only saving grace.
Surprisingly enough, South Africa's sole weapon, the No.1 ranked Imran Tahir, failed to get any assistance compared to his opponents as he finished with forgettable figures of 0/51. Du Plessis has stated that South Africa’s players’ less exposure to spinners helped India’s cause massively and the issue will be attended to despite Highveld not being a slow wicket.
“From a batting point of view, quite a few guys haven't faced their spinners, so it will take one or two games for them to get used to it. Some of the guys played against these guys in the IPL but not all of them faced them recently. With mystery spin or wrist spin, it takes you one or two games just to get used to the guys' actions and their wrists, and then hopefully you get better at playing them.
“We'll have a good discussion after this game and some feedback on the things we picked up, especially from my side, if there was anything that I can share with the guys that I picked up. And hopefully in the second game, we'll play them better," said du Plessis.