Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], March 9 (ANI): South Africa women's skipper Sune Luus credited Smriti Mandhana for taking India home in the second ODI here at the Ekana Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.
Jhulan Goswami's four-wicket haul and Smriti's unbeaten 80-run knock helped India defeat South Africa by nine wickets. Shabnim Ismail, the player of the match in the first ODI, failed to leave a mark in the second game and South Africa lost the match. But skipper Luus didn't agree that South Africa is over-dependent on the all-rounder. The top-order batter instead praised Smriti.
"No (If SA were over-dependent on Shabnam). I think we have enough quality bowlers. If Shabnam doesn't do well on a day, we still have enough quality bowlers to step up and I think Smriti played an exceptional innings today. Like I said 150 is a very small total to defend against India," said Luus while replying to a query from ANI in a virtual press conference.
South Africa had got off to a bad start as match-winners from the first ODI, Lizelle Lee (4) and Laura Wolvaardt (9) were sent back to the pavilion by the fifth over, reducing the visitors to 20/2.
But the skipper said the visitors are not dependent on the openers and pointed out to the previous series where the lower order batters had stepped up to the occasion.
"I don't think we depended on them so much. If you look back to the Pakistan series there were batters in the lower order that took us to the 200-run mark. And today myself and Lara, I thought we had good starts, we just couldn't take the scoreline deep and obviously afterwards there was no batter that put their hand up," said Luus.
"I don't really think we depend on them (openers). It's obviously ideal if they give us good starts otherwise it's my job to take the scoreline forward and to get the partnership and number five and six then can get on with it," she added.
Luus also felt that South African batters displayed a below-par performance and the skipper downplayed India's bowling in the second ODI. "We didn't execute our shots there were soft dismissals. I don't think they bowled that well," said Luus.
With this win, the hosts have levelled the five-match series 1-1. Both teams will now lock horns in the third ODI on Friday at the same ground. (ANI)