The Indian wrist spinning combo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav wrecked havoc in Centurion as they bundled out South African batting order for just 118 in the second ODI in Centurion. Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers were badly missed on a surface which assisted the spinners and that is why their absence was very much felt by the batting outfit.
South Africa still had some experience in the line up with the likes of De Kock, Amla and Duminy, however, all of them were equally helpless against the spinners as was the rest of the batting line up.
This has amazed the South Africa batting coach Dale Benkenstein to a great extent. He said he was also quite surprised to see as to how slow so the Indian spinners bowled on that wicket which befuddled the batsmen. On that same wicket though, lack of runs to play will didn't help Imran Tahir when South Africa tried to restrict India.
“Their spinners are very good, obviously. Earlier, Anil Kumble was the one who could really spin the ball away from the bat. He bowled pretty quick and the ball would come on to the bat. But these guys (Chahal and Yadav) are a lot slower. We’ve had a good look at them in the two games (so far) and I’m sure our performances will improve as the series goes on,” he said.
Benkenstein said the slow pace of the Indian spinners made all the difference. “The challenge lies in the fact that they bowl very slow. Our spinners bowl very fast. Even on domestic wickets, we bowl pretty quick and it’s so much easier to get runs (when that’s the case). To be fair, in South Africa we don’t get a lot of spin. So, this is obviously an issue.”
“I’m actually pretty amazed by how slow they can actually bowl. And obviously, if you’re a wrist spinner and you bowl slow, then it turns on any surface. But I think because of the slowness, there are also scoring opportunities. I would rather that we look at that than just plodding around,” he added.
Benkenstein said the absence of experienced stalwarts like AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis is a massive miss for them. “It obviously is tough to not have them (De Villiers and Du Plessis). We are playing against a very, very strong team and we would have ideally wanted to be at full strength. We have got in the back of our minds as well as our eyes are on the World Cup. We want to win the series but we do see this as a great opportunity to get some game time on to our next best players,” Benkenstein reasoned.
Even though they trail in the series, the SA batting coach promised to bounce back in the series in the remaining four ODIs.