Durban: Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni blamed his batsmen for yet another meek surrender against South Africa as India were humiliated by 134 runs to lose the three-match ODI series 0-2, in Durban on Sunday.
"The bowlers did well. They learnt from the last time, but the batsmen played too many shots. I think the shot selection was not right," Dhoni said in the post-match press conference.
India gave a pathetic batting display on seam-friendly conditions to suffer an embarrassing 134-run defeat in the second one-dayer. South African openers, Quinton de Kock (106) and Hashim Amla (100) added a record 194-run stand for the first wicket to pile on 280 for six in the allotted 49 overs before bundling out the hapless visitors for 146 in 35.1 overs on a gloomy day at the Kingsmead.
"The SA attack is very accurate and they keep bowling in the same areas and that's what makes them different. Overall, there was not much for the bowlers, not much seam or swing, so that's why I say they bowled well. The pitch was a nice one and the target was a decent one, and we didn't execute our plans with the bat," Dhoni said.
"I don't get too much worried about the losses, how we stand up from here is what I want to see. That will test our character."
South African captain AB de Villiers was happy to see his team dominate the world number 1 ODI side. "It was a very emotional day (referring to Nelson Mandela's death recently) and I am glad we came out here and played good cricket," de Villiers said.
"We have been searching for consistency for a long time and to do it against the No 1 team is a job well done. Quinton and Hash (Amla) have been very good up front, we struggled towards the end. I though 230-240 was par score, so to get 280 was very good."
About de Kock, who scored his second successive ton, the skipper only had words of praise. "Quinton de Kock is a very aggressive player, the day I met him, I thought this guys will go far."
Man of the Match de Kock said, "It's very satisfying. During tough times, people hate you, so in times like these, you have to enjoy yourselves. I was not so happy to take 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."