South African head coach –Ottis Gibson is disappointed with the way his batters played so far in the six-match One Day International series against India, blaming his batsmen for the series loss after yesterdays’ 73-runs defeat in the fifth ODI at St George’s Park.
With the defeat, the Proteas went down 1-4 in the six-match series with one match to go on Friday (16 February) at SuperSport Park.
On Tuesday, South Africa had won the toss and chose to bowl first, thanks to Rohit Sharma’s ton (115 off 126 balls), India went on to post 274 for 7 on the Board. In reply, the Proteas made a great start with Hashim Amla (71) but they failed to carry that form with Kuldeep Yadav has picked up four wickets, while Hardik Pandya and Yuzvendra Chahal took 2 each, eventually, the hosts lost the fifth game as well as their hope to alive in the One Day series.
According to a report in Hindustan Times, Ottis Gibson said, “I thought at the halfway stage we gave ourselves a very good chance to keep ourselves in the series. We came this afternoon very optimistic that the series was still there to be drawn. To bowl them out for 270-odd was a great effort from the bowlers, and we let ourselves down with the bat. There’s not a lot more to say than that. It’s something we have been talking about for five games now. We showed at the Wanderers that we can play better than we have done, but tonight was disappointing.”
Gibson further added, “You want to have a group of players who can adapt to certain conditions and play accordingly. We know we have those players but they haven’t produced it in this series, which is disappointing. The way we have played as a group at certain times has been disappointing but especially tonight because there was still a lot to play for in the series.”
“To be fair we were 50 for none and we lost a wicket with four balls to go in the PowerPlay to their best bowler. Bumrah has been their fast bowler all summer. We lost a couple more shortly thereafter and that set us back. Hash worked really hard to try and rebuild but every time we rebuilt we lost wickets. With the four bowlers, we needed our best six or seven batsmen to bat the bulk of the overs and they weren’t able to do that tonight.”
On being asked why they have struggled to get the Indian top order batsmen out, Gibson replied, “The Indian top order is very experienced and they’ve played well. They’ve seen off the new ball or been able to score freely. We haven’t been able to hold the length very well. I keep saying to the bowlers that in order to control the scoring rate you have to control your length. Otherwise, you can’t stop batsmen from scoring, and we’ve not been able to control length as well as we should be doing at this level and that’s allowed them to score quite freely at times.”
He signed off by saying, “We succumbed quite easily tonight, to be bowled out in 42 overs is very disappointing from a batting point of view. Even with the bowling, there were some soft boundaries, which has gone on the whole series. So just a bit more fight with the bat.”