Got a hiding from India: Ottis
Calcutta: South Africa head coach Ottis Gibson had no excuses to offer, saying that his team got a "hiding" from India in the ODI series.
"You take three of your best batsmen out of any team and they will struggle. And when we did that against a very strong Indian team, it has exposed us.
"I've told the lads in the dressing room that we will not make excuses, but will try and get better. We have got a hiding from India, let us not kid ourselves about that. But it has also given us a lot of food for thought going forward," said Gibson, after India whipped the Proteas by 73 runs to win the ODI series in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday.
"I know we have been focusing on the World Cup, but I don't think the team that will go to that tournament is the one that you saw here," he added.
Gibson also conceded that India's wrist spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have tormented his side in this ODI series, but felt they may not be that useful in the World Cup in England. "India have two world-class spinners and they might spin it anywhere, but we have got a whole year to learn to deal with that stuff. However, I don't believe it will spin that much in England," he said.
Gibson felt his batsmen let the team down at crucial junctures through the entire ODI series, particularly in the fifth match at St George's Park. "We were optimistic about the series still being there to be drawn.
"To restrict India to 270-odd was a great effort from the bowlers and we let ourselves down with the bat. You want to have a group of players who can adapt to certain conditions and play accordingly.
"We know we have those players, but they have not produced it in this series, which is disappointing. We succumbed quite easily," the coach pointed out.
South Africa had managed to restrict India under 300 for the second game running, but the 275-run target proved to be a tall ask with the Indian wrist-spinners making it count once again. Once Hashim Amla was run out, the Proteas collapsed.
"We were 50 for none and lost a wicket with four balls to go in the Powerplay to Jasprit Bumrah, who has been their best fast bowler all summer. We lost a couple more shortly thereafter and that set us back.
"Hashim worked really hard to rebuild, but every time we rebuilt, we lost wickets. With four bowlers, we needed our best six or seven batsmen to bat the bulk of overs and they were not able to do that," Gibson said.