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Rajkot for Redemption Anyone?

Partnerships. This was the theme from Geoff Wakefield’s previous piece and it will, again, lead the thought process of his post second ODI review as he continues to follow the Proteas series in India for TheYellowCap.com.

The reason for this is because where the Proteas succeeded so markedly in the opener, with every wicket adding value to a good total, at the Holkar stadium, was exactly where it all went wrong as they allowed their hosts to go into game three, level in the series.

Sure, the batsmen’s job would have been a great deal easier had the bowlers done their bit in finishing off the Indian tail below 200 but it is hardly the attack’s job to get the runs, as they so manfully tried to do at the end!

I refer you back to my last thought before the Indore defeat:

“Can South Africa maintain their squeeze when it counts?”

I confidently believe that South Africa did exactly as was asked. That Steyn, Rabada, Morkel, Tahir and Duminy were unable to capitalise on 124/6 and then 165/7 was more down to the brilliance of MS Dhoni than anything they or the fielders did wrong.

As skipper, AB de Villiers was spot on in saying when you get partnerships going, you have to make them count. 40 for the 1st wicket, 82 for the 3rd wicket and even the 19 that he and Farhaan Behardien added for the 6th wicket, were all stands that either put South Africa in a strong position or in the case of the last stand got them out of a hole.

There was never any scoreboard pressure, it was more a case of inappropriate shots at crucial times. I have been seeing particularly scathing criticism of David Miller and the way he got out. Yes, Miller went fishing 1st ball and paid for it, but he is not where the Proteas lost the game.

With the post mortem on the loss complete, Rajkot is the venue for the next encounter.

Not much should be done to SA’s playing XI, however, India’s spinners did choke game two out of South Africa’s grasp. With that in mind, on what is likely to be another helpful surface for the tweakers, the addition of Aaron Phangiso as a second spinner is worth considering. To drop any of the incumbant bowlers though, would be harsh as it was the batsmen who faltered to bring about defeat. We do have Rilee Rossouw and Khaya Zondo in reserve, would I bring them in?

No.

Let the current line up redeem themselves to put SA 2-1 come Sunday night.

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