Paarl [South Africa], January 19 (ANI): India opening batter Shikhar Dhawan on Wednesday said that losing wickets in a cluster cost his side in the first ODI against South Africa.
Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen's centuries were backed by a spirited bowling performance as South Africa defeated India by 31 runs in the first ODI of the three-match series.
For India, only Shikhar Dhawan (79), Shardul Thakur (50*), and Virat Kohli (51) got going with the bat, and otherwise, it was a disappointing show.
"We advise the young guys to play according to the situation and one must keep the team ahead. Partnerships are important and I am sure the guys will keep learning with experience. We had a good start, the wicket was slow and it was offering a bit of turn," said Dhawan during a virtual press conference.
"When you are chasing 300 and you are coming in, you cannot go after the ball immediately, it is not easy. When we lost wickets in a cluster, it impacted us in the game. I just thought about playing to the merit of the ball, it was not a typical South African wicket, when I got the flow, I just looked to carry on with that," he added.
Earlier, Rassie van der Dussen (129*) and Temba Bavuma (110) were the bright spots with the bat as South Africa posted 296/4. Bavuma and van der Dussen put on a stand of 204 runs for the fourth wicket and this is the second-highest by a South African pair in ODIs against India.
When asked why Venkatesh Iyer was not used as the sixth bowling option, Dhawan said: "Venkatesh Iyer was not brought on as there was turn on the wicket and the spinners were doing well. Fast bowlers were not used much in the middle, and the spinners were employed."
"The talks are always there, I just know how to give my best. I know that with my experience and with my self-confidence, I will do and I am happy that I did well today," he added.
When asked about his mental preparation before any series, Dhawan said: "I do not listen to the media or watch the news, that way I do not take any information. I have confidence in my abilities and I stay quite calm. This is a part and parcel of the game. That only makes me stronger." (ANI)