SA batting coach Dale Benkenstein believes that the players should learn the art of handling spinners from their Indian counterparts. Benkenstein has also stated that the team is upset and disappointed after trailing by 2-0 in the series which will fire them up in the remaining games.
The South African team won the three-match Test series by 2-1 against the top Test team of the world, but they failed to maintain their winning momentum in the 50-over format. The team faced a six-wicket loss in the first ODI in Durban and received another defeat in Centurion by nine wickets. Indian spin bowling attack comprising Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal spun a web around the hosts' batting line-up and Benkenstein also pointed out the Indian team’s brilliant performance.
We can learn a lot a from the way the Indian batters play spin. Any loose ball that our spinners bowl, they are looking to hit it for four or six.
Dale Benkenstein, on South Africa's batting collapse
"Today I thought we had the intent," the batting coach said as quoted by Cricbuzz.
"There were few balls where guys were looking to score and hit it to fielders and got out. I'd much rather them playing that way than being too scared to hit the ball. We can learn a lot a from the way the Indian batters play spin. Any loose ball that our spinners bowl, they are looking to hit it for four or six. There is a bit of learning to be done there. The other tough thing is you are playing against two wrist spinners, that a not of a lot of players have played against. It does take time to get used to their change-ups and their variations."
Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane’s partnership was the winning point for the team in the series opener and in the second ODI, it was Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav who built a partnership from the bowling end. Chahal (5/22) and Kuldeep (3/20) led the attack and wrapped the South African innings for just 118 runs. The two Indian spinners had bowled 34 overs combined and claimed 13 wickets for 121 runs in the first two games. The next ODI of the series will be played on February 7 in Cape Town where the hosts will definitely be looking for their first win in the 50-overs series.
"We've got very little time. Unfortunately, we've gone straight from a Test series on quite sporty seaming wickets, straight into ODIs and we've come up against a huge challenge. I thought we had a very good practice yesterday. The guys were in the nets and we've got two wrist spinners, so they were practising against them. But things don't turn around overnight. I think the positive thing is we're probably not even at 50% of our capabilities with bat and ball. So it's obviously our job as a coaching staff to try and get out the best out of them, but obviously it's not easy when things are moving from one day to the next," he added.
The South African team played without their regular skipper Faf du Plessis as he was ruled out of the series with a fractured finger. Earlier, AB de Villiers injured his finger during the third Test against India which forced him to stay out from the first three matches of the ODI series. In the absence of du Plessis, Aiden Markram was picked by the selectors to play the role of the captain.
"Obviously the guys are very upset and disappointed, but the beauty of it is that everyone's disappointed in themselves, and not in others in the team.
"That's where the culture stands out, it stands strong. Each player will look to get better now going forward. It is a quick turnaround but it might fire the guys up going into the remaining four matches, which I think is a great thing for us," he said.