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AB: Won it for Madiba

- Did not execute plans well: Dhoni
Mahendra Singh Dhoni observes a minute’s silence in memory of Nelson Mandela, before the start of the second ODI in Durban. The India captain was left with his head bowed after the match, too, as India lost by 134 runs

Calcutta: After yet another embarrassing loss at the hands of South Africa, in Durban, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni wants his team to stand up and fight for a turnaround.

It’s too late for a turnaround in the ODI series as the Proteas enjoy an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. However, a positive result in the third one-dayer will definitely help the Indians play better in the Test series. No doubt then that Dhoni believes that the third match will be a test of character for his boys.

In Sunday’s match, the Indian bowlers did well than their performance in Johannesburg. They restricted the hosts to 280 for six. But even then, the target turned out to be too much for the Indians as they folded for just 146 in 35.1 overs.

The following are excerpts

AB de Villiers: It was a very emotional day for us and I am glad we came out here and played some good cricket. In the morning, we were thinking about Madiba and we knew the best thing we can do in his memory is to win. I am happy that we could ensure that.

We have been searching for consistency for a long time and the boys have done really well to win a series against the No. 1-ranked ODI team. I am proud of the way my boys performed today.

The partnership between Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla was brilliant. It helped to build the innings nicely. Of course, we struggled a bit towards the end of our innings. I thought 230–240 was par score on this wicket, so to get 280 was very good.

Quinton is a very aggressive player. The day I first met him, I knew this guy would go far. He is very hard working player and hopefully he continues the same way.

We are not looking too far ahead, as we prefer thinking about one game at a time.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni: The bowlers did well today. They have learnt a lot from the last match. But the batsmen played too many poor shots. I don’t think the shot selections were wrong, but the execution was not proper.

South Africa’s bowling attack is very accurate and they keep bowling in the same areas. That’s what makes them better from some of the other sides. Overall, there was not much for the bowlers at the start… Not much seam-movement… That’s why I say they bowled well.

Our bowlers also did well in the first 10 overs. The spinners came in and did a good job as well. The pitch was a nice one and the target was a decent one too. It was a good ODI wicket, but we did not execute our plans with the bat well.

We need to keep it simple. We need to move on and play well in the next match. You lose some and win some. I don’t get worried too much if we lose. How we stand up from here is what I want to see… That will be the test of our character.

Quinton de Kock (MoM): It has been a very satisfying performance. You need to make the most of the form you are in and I am doing exactly that. During tough times, people criticise you. So in times like these, you have to enjoy yourselves. I don’t know what happens when I bat with Amla... It just clicks.

There was a time when we were thinking whether we will have to go out because of the rains and the D/L method would have come into play. I was not very happy when I took Dhoni’s catch because at that stage, we were looking to get to the 20-over mark and I thought we didn’t need a wicket then. But then, it wasn’t the case.