India’s wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have literally bamboozled the South African batsmen during the recently concluded six-match ODI series that the Men in Blue won by 5-1.
After scalping 5 for 79 and 8 for 42 while bowling in tandem in India’s 6-wicket and 9-wicket victory in the first two ODIs at Durban and Centurion, the duo unleashed yet another havoc on the hosts as they claimed 8 for 69 in India’s 124-run victory over the Protease during the third ODI at Newlands, Cape Town.
After a little blip in the fourth ODI that India lost by 5 wickets (DLS method) in Johannesburg, Kuldeep and Chahal made a stellar comeback in the fifth ODI at Port Elizabeth to secure a maiden bilateral ODI series win on South African soil. The duo claimed 6 wickets between them as India won the fifth ODI by 73 runs. They spin twins picked up 3 wickets in the sixth encounter at Centurion to finish the series with 33 wickets between them.
Seeing Kuldeep and Chahal’s bowling exhibition from the close quarters, former South Africa captain Kepler Wessels on Saturday (February 17) said that his country's batsmen were not used to play against such high-class wrist spinners.
"They struggled because most of the (current) South African batsmen hadn't played against wrist spinners very much. They were taken by surprise by the quality of spin and they hadn't seen anything like that before,” Wessels quoted by PTI as saying.
Wessels, who has represented Australia as well as South Africa, also stated that India’s stunning 5-1 triumph didn’t come as a surprise to him.
"I wasn't surprised by India's performance as I knew going into the One Day series (after Tests) they are going to be competitive and they are a good One Day team. South Africa had a depleted side and they lost players through injuries (in the series) and their play against spinners was not good enough. India was the better side," he opined.
Prior to the ODI series, India had conceded the Test series 2-1 to South Africa. And Wessels feels that the world No.1 Test team should go to England early in order to acclimatize to the conditions.
"They should definitely have some warm up matches in England because it takes some time to get used to the English conditions. In Australia also there will be additional bounce, so one or a few warm-up matches will be a good idea," said the 60-year-old.
"They should have had a warm-up match in South Africa. I am not saying that would have impacted on them winning the series, but it would have helped them to get used to the conditions," concluded Kepler Wessels.