KL Rahul Reckons India Would Want To Get Better In Both Batting And Bowling In The Middle Overs After Losing To South Africa Again In 2nd ODI

KL Rahul
KL Rahul-Reuters.

KL Rahul has admitted that the Indian team would have a lot of work to do in the middle overs in both the batting and the bowling department. India’s middle-order stumbled for the second game in a row while the bowlers also flopped, failing to defend a target of 288. India batted first and put up 287 for 6 as Rishabh Pant top-scored with 85 while KL Rahul himself contributed 55.

In response, South African openers Janneman Malan and Quinton de Kock added 132 for the opening wicket as the Proteas eased to victory by seven wickets. Apart from Jasprit Bumrah (1/37), no other Indian bowler could make much of an impression on the Proteas batters.
Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul during the 2nd ODI match between India and South Africa, at Boland Park(ANI)
Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul during the 2nd ODI match between India and South Africa, at Boland Park(ANI)

KL Rahul: India Would Want To Get Better In Both Batting And Bowling Departments In The Middle Overs

Skipper KL Rahul praised South Africa for putting up an impressive display at home but also pinpointed India’s flaws after his team suffered a seven-wicket loss in the second game and lost the three-ODI series on Friday.

Speaking after the disappointing performance, KL Rahul conceded, “We are trying to get better at things we haven’t done well in the past. Partnerships, middle-order becomes crucial when we are entering a big tournament, want to get better at bowling in the middle overs and these are the few things that are really obvious and right in front of us. We have spoken about it and it’s only up to us to get better, learn from it and find a way.”

The 29-year-old admitted that the surface in Boland Park was on the slower side and thus wasn’t like a typical South African pitch.

He added, “It does feel like one of the wickets at home and I don’t think it was a pitch where they could have chased down 280 that easily. Credit to them, they are showing us the importance of partnerships and putting pressure early on against the bowlers.”

KL Rahul Image Source : GETTY IMAGES
KL Rahul Image Source: GETTY IMAGES

Janneman Malan was the home team’s top-scorer with 91 off 108 while his senior opening partner Quinton de Kock made 78 off 66 balls. KL Rahul described it as a learning curve for the team members and also underlined their mistakes. Inability to pick up wickets at crucial junctures dented the Indian camp once again as the hosts strolled past the total without much trouble.

KL Rahul Credits The Likes Of Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, Shardul Thakur, And Jasprit Bumrah

While the 0-2 scoreline is demotivating from India’s point of view, KL Rahul preferred to look at the positives. KL Rahul also identified positives as he heaped praise on the batting display from Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli in the series opener, which was followed by Rishabh Pant’s career-best ODI innings in the second game.

He recounted, “The way Shikhar and Virat batted in the first game was very good, and today Rishabh batted, the way he managed the first 20 balls and then he took down the spinners. He is a really important member of the team and Shardul, too, showing us he can bat lower down and make a good contribution. Jasprit has been the standout bowler for us and Yuzi has been good today.”

Shikhar Dhawan (Getty Images)(HT_PRINT)
Shikhar Dhawan (Getty Images)(HT_PRINT)

While many critics have questioned Team India’s body language in the ongoing series, according to KL Rahul, staying in bio bubbles continuously has taken its toll on the body.

He concluded, “It’s been tough on the body staying in the bubbles. We love challenges and we have come short in the first 2 games, we will look ahead to the third game and try and win that one.”

The final ODI of the match, a dead rubber, will be played in Cape Town on Sunday. After defending a 296-run total in the first ODI, South Africa made light work of a 288-run target, chasing it down with 7 wickets in hand.

Brief Scores:

1st ODI: South Africa: 296 for 4 (Rassie van der Dussen 129 not out, Temba Bavuma 110; Jasprit Bumrah 2/48) beat India: 265 for 8  (S Dhawan 79, V Kohli 51; Andile Phehlukawayo 2/26) by 31 runs

2nd ODI: South Africa 288 for 3 (Malan 91, de Kock 78) beat India 287 for 6 (Rishabh Pant 85, KL Rahul 55, Shamsi 2-57) by seven wickets

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