Virat Kohli was gracious in defeat last night, congratulating South Africa for keeping their nerve in a rain-curtailed game.
The Indian skipper spoke about how the rain broke the momentum for Indian during the first innings, as it came at a time when Dhawan and Rahane were just starting to string a partnership together.
Also, the lightning/rain delay caused the pitch to play a little two paced in the latter half of the innings, with Dhoni, Rahane and Pandya finding it difficult to up the ante during the death overs.
South Africa had started the 2nd innings with a solid little partnership between Amla and Markram, but Markram couldn’t fend one off Bumrah that jagged back in quite a bit, getting trapped right in front.
The players went off due to another burst of lightning and rain. The game was then cut short to a 28 over one, and the complexion of the game changed completely for South Africa, as it essentially provided them with a T20 chase.
AB de Villiers started taking the attack to the spinners, but Pandya got him holed out at fine leg, trying to flick into the stands. With Miller going early into that sweep shot, and getting bowled, the doors had almost closed for South Africa.
Only for Yuzvendra Chahal’s foot, which made the door fling right open, as he had overstepped and Miller did not look back after that respite.
Miller and Klassen took South Africa to a famous win, toying with the Indian wrist spinner in the end(especially Chahal) who took quite a beating from Miller and Klassen.
Kohli rued the missed chances for India but did not want to put too much pressure on the boys as they had had a brilliant series up until now.
“In the second innings when the game was placed after the interval, we got a difference of 35 between runs and balls, it was almost a T20 game. We had to take our chances, no balls aren’t easy” Kohli spoke about the dreaded no-ball.
“In hindsight you have to give credit to South Africa, we didn’t grab our chances and they deserved to win. After the first lightning break when Shikhar and Jinks (Rahane) came off, the guys felt that the wicket got faster and the weather got cooler and they felt that the ball wasn’t coming on nicely.
“The ball was getting a little wet, our spinners got a bit of turn but the South African batsmen took their chances and they came off. They improvised well and they deserved to win. The game getting shorter worked in their favour; had it been a full game you never know.
“It was more like a T20 game and you have to go after the bowlers. If a side has momentum in their favour, it is very difficult to stop them. Especially guys like Miller and their keeper batted brilliantly as well. When AB got out we felt we were in the game but these two took it away from us.
“No balls are something that hurts you as a team and it is something we hope to rectify and not repeat them in the next games. They are a quality side and we know that. We also know that we have to be at the top of our game to get a win and that’s what we’ll do for the next game.” Virat Kohli said at the post match presentation.