Indian captain KL Rahul was disappointed that the team failed to win the first ODI but insisted that there is a lot to learn from the defeat.
South Africa put up 296 runs on the board before restricting India to 265/8 in their 50 overs. Rassie van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma scored contrasting hundreds which proved to be the difference-maker eventually. Speaking about the game at the post-match presentation ceremony, Rahul said:
“It was a nice game, there’s so much to learn. We started off really well, we couldn’t get wickets in the middle. We’ll look to see how we get wickets in the middle overs and stop the opposition.“
Speaking about the batting, he said: “The middle-order couldn’t get going. We were on par for the first 20-25 overs of the game. I thought we would chase it down easily but SA bowled really well and got crucial wickets.“
“I don’t know if it changed drastically” – KL Rahul on the pitch
Rahul further said that the settled batters, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli, observed that the surface became easier to bat on once they took their time and got their eye in.
“I didn’t bat after the 20th over I don’t know if it (pitch) changed drastically. Virat and Shikhar told that it was a good wicket to bat on, you just had to spend some time in the middle, unfortunately, we couldn’t get the partnership going.”
“Every game is important for us, we all want to go out there and give our best performances. We haven’t played one-day cricket for a while, we have the WC in mind and we want to get the best XI on the park. We’ll make mistakes but we’ll learn from them,” Rahul added.
The second ODI will be played between the two sides at the same venue in Boland Park.