IND vs SA | KL Rahul didn't do anything wrong with his captaincy, opines Dale Steyn

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KL Rahul scored only 12 runs in the first ODI against South Africa in Paarl

| Courtesy - Twitter

IND vs SA | KL Rahul didn't do anything wrong with his captaincy, opines Dale Steyn

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SportsCafe Desk

01/20/2022

After India's loss in the first ODI against South Africa, Dale Steyn opined that KL Rahul did not do anything wrong with his captaincy. Steyn added that planning was the difference between both teams as the South Africa batsmen were walking up to bowlers while Indian players stayed at the crease.

After losing the three-match Test series against South Africa by 2-1, India suffered a 31-run defeat against the Temba Bavuma-led side in the first ODI on Wednesday in Paarl. The Proteas, who displayed a brilliant all-round performance in the first ODI are just a win away from the series victory. Batting first, South Africa posted a total of 296/4 courtesy of centuries from Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen. Bavuma scored 110 runs while van der Dussen remained unbeaten and scored 129 runs.

In response, India were able to score only 265/8 ending up 31 runs short of the target. Shikhar Dhawan scored 79 runs, while Virat Kohli played a knock of 51 runs. Towards the end, Shardul Thakur tried his best, but the right-hander's half-century went in vain as South Africa clinched a 31-run victory in the series opener.

After the loss in the first ODI, KL Rahul’s captaincy has been criticized by many. However, Former South Africa cricketer Dale Steyn has said that Rahul has not done anything wrong with his captaincy, but there was a little bit of difference between both sides in terms of planning. 

“If you look at KL, I don’t think he did anything wrong with his captaincy. He had a good day. But there were just those little differences, the little bit of planning that was the difference between India and the Proteas. South Africa were walking up to the bowlers, India stayed in their crease. It’s the little things KL is going to get better at,” Steyn said during the Byju’s Cricket Live Show after the match.

Rohit Sharma was expected to begin his ODI captaincy stint during the ongoing white-ball series against South Africa, however, the Indian opener sustained a hamstring injury and was eventually ruled out from the tour. The selection committee later appointed KL Rahul as India captain for the South Africa ODI series, and named Jasprit Bumrah as his deputy.

The last time India toured South Africa in 2018, the visitors claimed a 5-1 victory in a six-match ODI series. Steyn reckoned that Rahul has only 24 hours to turn things around, and the Indian captain should get his act together. 

“He must understand today was his first game as captain. They haven’t played a lot of white-ball cricket. Some of the guys who have come out haven’t played cricket in a while. Little bit of ring rust. So they are going to get better. But he has got only 24 hours to turn this whole thing around. So today was a good day for them. They must have learnt from South Africa what they did right,” he added.

The second ODI between India and South Africa will be played in Paarl on January 21.

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