Proteas middle-order batsman JP Duminy was left to face the media after they slumped to 124 run loss to India at Newlands.
Duminy was the only Proteas batsman to pass fifty as the hosts failed to score more than 200 for the second match in a row with wrist spin causing untold problems for them.
Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav each bagged four as India bowled the Proteas out for just 179 on a warm evening in Cape Town.
Duminy feels that the tourists have assessed conditions on each of the three surfaces used in the ODI series faster than the home team.
— SuperSport (@SuperSportTV) February 7, 2018
He said after the loss: “They’ve assessed conditions better than us. They’ve bowled a touch slower than our spinners.
“They haven’t bowled the ball full enough for us to get to the ball, to hit down the ground. That’s where we have been successful in South African conditions, and they haven’t allowed that.
“We need to make sure we have different strategies, not only scoring boundaries but finding the one square of the wicket as well.”
Duminy insisted that despite appearances the Proteas did in fact have a game plan when it came to Kuldeep and Chahal.
He said: “Yes, we have game plans and they’ve bowled well enough not to give us the balls to play in our game plan. We’ve got to come up with different ways of countering how good they’ve been.”
As is traditional after chastening defeats Duminy fell back on a well worn cliché, the need to build partnerships, a good go-to when you aren’t quite sure what to do other than try to play better cricket.
He said: “We’ve spoken about how crucial partnerships are. We haven’t had the opportunity to put together partnerships. The only standout performance was Faf’s in the first game.
“As a batting unit we’ve got to make sure we are better. We’ve got take it on the chin and take responsibility and know we are better than that.
“Throughout this series so far, we’ve lost wickets in clusters so we haven’t given ourselves a chance. It comes down to execution. We’ve got plans of how to counter their spin but we haven’t managed to execute.”
Of course the cliché is true, in order to win games of cricket you need sizeable partnerships but those come as a result of batsmen playing well, rotating the strike and finding the boundary frequently not talking about it.
It is difficult to build partnerships when the entire XI is clueless against wrist spin which accounts for 20 overs of the fifty they need to face.
The Proteas have struggled since losing Faf du Plessis after his hundred at Kingsmead and senior players haven’t stepped up to fill the gaps left by injuries to the skipper, AB de Villiers and Quinton de Kock.
Duminy would defend young stand-in skipper Aiden Markram who can only really be blamed as far as his own batting failures with the bowling maintaining a decent if unspectacular standard.
Markram cannot bat for his charges and it has been a lack of runs that has seen the Proteas outgunned by India so far.
Duminy said: “He has confided in a few guys on different ways of doing things. This is the quickest way to learn, going through difficult times. The type of character he is, he will get through it.
“It’s not a case where he needs to go through this process alone. We are a team and the team has not played well – it’s not that he hasn’t led well.
“As a captain you can only do so much, you can only say so much, you can only motivate so much. We’ve got to stand up and put in the performances we’ve been paid to do.”
It is unclear if the selectors will choose to ring the changes in the top order for the remaining three ODIs but bringing in the top performers in domestic cricket could be a worthwhile experiment with the World Cup looming and the Proteas lacking match-winners.