South Africa continued their perfect record in pink ODIs, as the hosts won the fourth ODI to keep the series alive.
India reached a competitive 289, riding on Shikhar Dhawan’s 13th ODI century. The opener scored a wonderful hundred, as Dhawan continued his good form in the ODI series.
In reply, South Africa were helped by the rain interruption, as the revised total was far more gettable on a pitch that was became better to bat on.
The rain made the ball slippery to hold on, and greased the outfield as the Indian spinners were suddenly ineffective under lights.
During the post-match press conference, Dhawan reflected on the match and felt that India lost the crucial moments in the match.
“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,” Dhawan said at the post match press conference late last night.
“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,” added the left-hander.
“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,” said Dhawan, who scored a century in his 100th ODI yesterday.
“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.”
“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.
“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. Any one can have a bad day,” he said.
“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.
“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.
“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.”