Ranchi: India captain Shikhar Dhawan said the team’s plan to take on the South African bowlers in the first ten overs of the run chase clicked as the hosts notched a comfortable seven-wicket win in the second ODI to level the three-match series here on Sunday.
India chased down the target of 279 with 25 balls remaining, riding on a brilliant 113 not out off 111 balls from Shreyas Iyer and 93 from Ishan Kishan.
“The ball was coming on nicely but it was keeping low. So our plan was to take on the bowlers in the first ten overs,” Dhawan said at the post-match presentation.
“Once the dew came into the picture, it was skidding on. So the back-foot shots were easy to execute.” Dhawan said the toss of coins also worked perfectly for the team as South Africa chose to bat first.
“I am glad. Thanks to (stand-in captain) Keshav (Maharaj) that he chose to bat,” Dhawan said with a laugh.
“I must say that Ishan and Shreyas, the way they created that partnership was great to watch.” He also lauded his bowlers for their performance, especially debutant Shahbaz Ahmed who had figures of 1/54 from his 10 overs.
“I am very pleased with the bowlers, especially Shahbaz, the way he bowled in the first ten overs and got us the breakthrough.” Man of the Match for his 113 not out off 111 balls, Shreyas Iyer said, “I am ecstatic. When I went in to bat, I spoke to Ishan and he was in the mindset to take on the bowlers. So we decided to play the ball on merit and see how it goes.
“Tomorrow is a travel day and then day after another match. Motivated for that, let’s see what’s in store for me and the team.” Asked if there was any changes in his batting approach, Iyer said, “I am not someone who changes according to the bowler. I am someone who changes on the instinct.
“It’s not something I try in nets first, I change it in the match itself.” Stand-in Keshav Maharaj said, “I think we didn’t expect the dew to play such a big part, that’s why we opted to bat after we won the toss.
“But credit to Shreyas and Sanju. We expected it to get slower and lower but after 20 overs the pitch got better.”