An interesting stat and comments from ODI 2

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Dec 20, 2023, 00:07

Stat: Tony de Zorzi's 119* today is higher than South Africa's previous three ODI totals vs India - 116 (Johannesburg), 83 (Kolkata), 99 (Delhi).

Markram: (On the game) A lot better than a couple of days ago. Much better overall performance. Much better with the ball and in the field. It was going around when the openers went out to bat. They put up a 100-run partnership and set up the game - that was great. (On the early bowling changes) The breeze played a bit of a factor. It was a fresh wicket so we expected it to go around. Nandre was being wasted from that end, thought he might as well bowl from the other end and throw rockets. It was fairly simple otherwise - bowl in the right areas and get the most out of the wicket. Not too sure (about the par score). Always felt we were in the game with the ball. It was a tough wicket to bat on but if you applied yourself, you could get big runs. Maybe high 200s (was a par score). (On de Zorzi) It was huge for him. To put in a performance like that, to remain not out at the end and to remember how the crowd was to him, we were pretty much in awe. It was fantastic to watch. Hopefully the first of many for him, and the dressing room enjoyed it. (On how they turned things around after the first ODI) That was not an acceptable performance. We let ourselves down in the first game. Strong emphasis to chase well, and the mindset was to chase it down well. Much more confident unit, I would assume, after tonight.

KL Rahul, India captain: (On what he wants to change from today) Probably win the toss (smiles). There was a bit of help at the start. It was tough to bat on but a couple of us got set. Had we gone on, we could have gotten 50-60 runs extra and that would have made a difference. (On if 270 was par) When we batted, we thought even 240-250 would have been good. With a set batter, we might have gotten those runs. We lost wickets at crucial times. (On finding the right balance between caution and aggression) Each individual's game-plan and what they feel comfortable doing, as a team, you have to trust that. Have complete clarity and try to execute it. There is no right or wrong in cricket and you try to do the job for your team. (On the bowling display) There was a bit of help in the first ten overs. We beat the bat a lot. We could not hold on to one edge. Things might have been different had we held onto that. Not as much help as the first innings though. (Message before the third ODI) We leave what happens on the ground and will try and focus on the next game.

A commentators post match comment: As for India, they did ask questions with the new ball but their fielding let them down at that stage. Thereafter, they lacked penetration and could not really string together enough overs of pressure to force mistakes. The bowlers did not have a huge total on the board to work with, although they would hope for some of the incisiveness that shone through at Johannesburg to return for the decider in a couple of days' time.

Stating the obvious here but South Africa batted, bowled and fielded better than India today, and unsurprisingly, won at a canter.

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