Cricket

India vs South Africa: They batted better than us in the middle overs, says Rishabh Pant

Flamboyant Rishabh Pant believes that the difference between the two teams in the just lost ODI series was far better middle-overs batting by the South African side.

Having lost the first game by 31 runs, Indians were once again soundly thrashed by seven wickets after having put up a reasonably good 287 runs on the board.

First ODI match between South Africa and India in Paarl, South Africa, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Halden Krog)

Rishabh Pant scored 85 runs from 71 balls in the second ODI against South Africa. AP

"The track was slightly on the slower side and at the same time, we had enough runs on the board," Pant, who scored 85, said after the match.

"Last match (first ODI), we chased and this match we batted first, so when they batted, the wicket was much better for batting. In second innings, it became slower an slower as the game progressed.

"Today, it was same but they batted well in middle overs that's why they chased down the target. We didn't get enough wickets in the middle overs," he said.

SA Spinners were better, admits India keeper

Pant admitted that Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram and Tabraiz Shamsi bowled better than Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal in the two games.

"I think they (SA spinners) were more consistent in their lines and lengths and they are used to playing in these conditions," he said.

One of the biggest reasons for the defeat is lack of 50-over game time for a long duration, opined Pant.

"We are playing ODIs after long time and lots of factors we can talk about but as a team, we are always looking to improve and hopefully, we will be able to rectify them in coming matches."

Not concerned about Bhuvneshwar's form

Pant brushed aside queries about poor form of veteran pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

"As a team, we are always looking to improve and I don't think there is much concern about Bhuvi bhai's form. Obviously, we are playing ODI after long time so we are just getting used to the momentum, obviously disappointed after losing the series but we are looking at ways to improve," he added.

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Updated Date: January 22, 2022 10:37:25 IST

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