Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan said that rains and giving David Miller the second life cost India the match in Johannesburg. India lost the fourth ODI to South Africa by five wickets. “The main reason was, of course, the dropped catch and then a wicket off no-ball. From there the momentum changed. Otherwise we were in very good position,” said Dhawan in the post-match press conference.
David Miller was dropped in the deep before being bowled by Yuzvendra Chahal when he was still in single digit score. The explosive South African batsman then hit consecutive fours off the first three balls of the very next over and his innings was crucial in South Africa reaching the revised target of 202. It was the first victory of the series for South Africa and the series stands 3-1 in India’s favour with two matches to go. South Africa also maintained their unbeaten record while wearing pink at the Wanderers. India still need just one more win for a maiden ODI series victory in South Africa. “We’ve already won three games, so one more game and we’re through,” he said.
“Miller also played very well. Luck was on his side. First he was dropped and then got bowled off a no ball. Usually our spinners don’t bowl no balls. He took that chance with both hands and went on to change the momentum of the game,” he said. Dhawan also highlighted the impact of rain on the Indian innings. India were cruising along comfortably with Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane in the middle when the players were rushed off the field. India came back and lost a series of wickets and their run-rate took a blow. Dhawan was dismissed on 105 and it was MS Dhoni’s 42 that got India the runs as wickets fell on the other end. Another rain-break came later and this caused South Africa’s target to be reduced to 202 to be taken off 28 overs.
“Of course rain had an impact too. Our spinners couldn’t turn the ball or grip the ball the way they did in the last three matches. It makes a difference when the ball gets wet. That’s the reason,” said the left-hander.
Dhawan backed Kohli’s decision to bat first after winning the toss. “We took the decision to bat first because in the evening the ball moves here. There’s also the effect of the breeze and it can have an impact. Of course, we were batting in a flow when the rain came and our flow was broken. After that I got out. Then the runs didn’t come at the same pace. But that doesn’t mean the total was bad. But once it rained again, the outfield became wet.”
Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have been the architects of India’s wins in the first three ODIs, taking 21 of 28 South African wickets that had fallen in that period. But on Saturday, both of them were hit all over the park by Miller and Heinrich Klaasen. Andile Phehlukwayo, who finished things off for South Africa also milked Chahal (1-68) and Yadav (2-51) for runs. “See they are young guys. They have been doing very well, more than well for us. These two spinners have won three games for us. My support is always with them. Anyone can have a bad day. It’s not something that happens every time. Like our spinners don’t often bowl no balls. Even if they get hit, they will learn a lot of things,” he added.
Kohli tossed the ball to the two of them despite the runs they were leaking. “At that time, the captain probably thought that they were taking chances against the spinners and we needed wickets. Because the wicket was such (good for batting) and the ground was wet so by stopping runs we couldn’t have won. Wickets were very important,” he said.
“So the captain thought the spinners could take wickets. Sometimes you take a risk and it pays off, sometimes it doesn’t pay off. It’s normal,” said Dhawan, about the decision not to bowl Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah any further.
Earlier in the day, Dhawan had celebrated his 100th ODI with a 13th century. He scored 109 runs and put on 158 runs with skipper Kohli, who scored 75. The duo also put on an eighth century stand for the second wicket in ODI cricket.
“It was a picture perfect innings. I enjoyed it. It cannot get any better. In my 100th match, I scored a century. I’m very happy about that. Obviously they had their plans, but I adjusted to those things and started off well,” he said.
“From the other end, Virat was also going well and so I supported him. I am happy that I scored a century today. I just want to continue and improve the quality of my game.”
With PTI inputs
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