Former South African batsman Neil McKenzie has warned the Protean batsmen to play the Indian wrist spinners with caution in the series if they are to win the series eventually. According to McKenzie, the way they play the Indian spinners will define the outcome of the series.
According to latest PTI reports, McKenzie in his recent chat praised the spin duo. "You know what sort of total you need at Durban and losing wickets at regular intervals didn't help South Africa. Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav bowled very well," McKenzie told PTI.
"The Indian pacers had asked questions upfront with bounce and then the two wrist spinners came into play. They tied South Africa down, cut off the runs and then got two big scalps of Quinton de Kock and David Miller," he explained.
"South African batsmen wouldn't have seen a lot of these leggies, so they will need to go back and do their homework. They need to start countering this wrist spin from the next ODI," McKenzie said.
"The partnership between Faf du Plessis and Chris Morris got South Africa back in the game, but they needed more firepower at the back end. It didn't happen because they kept losing wickets at regular intervals," he added.
McKenzie also credited Ajinkya Rahane for the way he played his innings and kept him ahead of Kohli during their partnership.
"Rahane's strike rate was better than Kohli's. I thought he (Rahane) looked positive throughout his knock, which was key. Whenever he was falling behind the run-rate, he would take a risk but it was a calculated risk," McKenzie said.
"Kohli said before the game that India are struggling with the no.4 position. But Rahane definitely works at no.4 if he can keep on playing like this."
He concluded his interaction keeping his view on Imran Tahir and his importance in the rest of the series.
"(Imran) Tahir is the best wrist spinner in limited-overs and he has proven it before. But if you are chasing 4 runs per over off Tahir, he is not as effective. If you are chasing 6 per over and you have to get after him, he is very effective," McKenzie said.
"Obviously he needs a higher score, a target to bowl with because he likes putting batsmen under pressure. It is not easy to hit or rotate against him. In this game, he was forced to do something different because of the situation."
The second ODI of the series will be played in Centurion on Sunday.