Aiden Markram, South Africa’s middle-order batter and the game’s highest scorer, lamented his team’s inability to win the match after the second one-day international (ODI) in Ranchi on Sunday, noting that the Indian spinners didn’t allow the visitors any freebies.
Both Markram (79) and Reeza Hendricks (74), who were batting at number three, contributed to a 129-run partnership for the third wicket, but South Africa lost four wickets for 63 runs in the end, scoring only 26 runs in the final five overs of their 50-over innings. The score in the three-game series is now 1-1 after India won the second one-day international by seven wickets.
They (India) didn’t give us any free passes with their bowling. If one team launches off with a bang, the other team in the field suddenly finds themselves with momentum. Markram admitted after India tied the three-game series that his dismissal at that juncture in the innings was likely the reason his team fell short by 15–20 runs.
Perhaps we should have pushed ourselves a little farther; “I would have liked to take it 10 overs deeper and be there in the last five overs and attempt to cash in.”
Even David Miller, who had been in imperious form for much of the tour thanks to his unbeaten centuries of 106 and 75 in the Guwahati T20I and the Lucknow ODI, struggled in the final few overs.
Markram remarked, “You have got David Miller in the form of his life and if he’s battling to knock it out of the park, that says you something about two things—they bowled really well, and the conditions were really tough.”
Markram remarked that he had fun hitting alongside Hendricks.
It’s good to have been in the midst during a productive time for the collaboration. Rezza deserves most of the praise for his ability to keep the runs coming from the other side.
He noted that, despite the dryness of the wicket, his team still managed to post a respectable score.
Hendricks’ dismissal by Mohammed Siraj (3/38) signaled the beginning of the end for South Africa because Siraj was back in his comfort zone at the helm of the inexperienced Indian attack.
Heinrich Klaasen, 30, was in fine form and hit some magnificent strokes, but he was also bowled out by Kuldeep Yadav.
Considering the circumstances, “if we look at the conditions we thought we were happy at 280 and it would have been defendable,” Markram added.
The 28-year-old backed the Proteas’ decision to bat first, despite the dew’s impact on the rest of the game.
There was a clear effect of dew on the ball, and it was very damp. Possibly, we can admit we threw the (coin) wrong in retrospect.
While it appeared to be relatively dry at first glance, we elected to bat first anyhow. We didn’t bowl too poorly, in my opinion. “They hit some terrific balls to boundaries, and it makes it extremely difficult to slow down,” Markram remarked.
In response, India cruised to a seven-wicket win in 45.5 overs behind a 161-run stand from Shreyas Iyer (113 not out) and Ishan Kishan (93).
Excellent knocks were played by both Ishan and Shreyas. Markram praised their collaboration, saying, “They deserve a lot of credit for having such a big cooperation and pretty much dominating the game and getting their team over the line.”
When asked why he didn’t play in the second ODI, Markram responded that skipper Temba Bavuma was “feeling slightly unwell and didn’t want to risk” before the T20 World Cup. We obviously missed him. He is in charge of us.
Markram knew that playing a three-match ODI series before the T20 World Cup, which starts in less than two weeks, wasn’t ideal preparation, but he focused on the bright side.