Virat Kohli was an extremely proud man after winning the second ODI and credited the discipline shown by the wrist-spinners as the main reason for the win. On the other hand, captaincy debutant Aiden Markram blamed the soft dismissals for their shambolic performance in their fortress - Centurion.
Playing against two wrist-spinners was always going to be a tougher challenge for the hosts following Faf du Plessis' untimely injury and with AB de Villiers also not playing, the middle order was completely clueless to handle Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav on a surface that had good enough assistance for them to thrive upon. The duo shared eight wickets among them to restrict the hosts to 118 and Kohli couldn’t have been happier. Kohli also conceded that the hard wicket played into the hands of the hosts and also added that they already felt that the wicket was going to be like that – hard and dry.
“Those two (wrist-spinners) are a handy bunch together. If we set up to chase down totals, we know exactly what we want to do. It's a wonderful position to be in. We know their middle-order is inexperienced, and we look to cash in on that. The way our spinners are bowling, we are confident about continuing the same momentum,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
When du Plessis was ruled out of the series with a fractured finger, having suffered the injury in the first ODI while fielding, South Africa appointed Aiden Markram as the skipper of the side despite the latter having the experience of playing only two ODI matches before the match. However, Markram’s captaincy debut turned out to be a complete disaster and he asked the players to introspect ahead of the Cape Town ODI on February 7.
Speaking after the game, Markram said, “Not the best performance. Today we'll have to be honest with ourselves. Got a couple of days to turn it around in Cape Town. Not ideal.