India vs South Africa: Shikhar Dhawan rues middle-order collapse after loss in first ODI

Paarl: After India’s defeat to South Africa in the first One-Day International, opener Shikhar Dhawan expressed regret for the team’s middle-order collapse.

“We got off to a good start, and while the wicket appeared to be slow, it was also offering some turning. As a result, when you are chasing (approximately) 300 runs, it is difficult to play shots when the middle-order comes into the batting order.

“Our wickets fell in a heap, and that had an impact on us as a batting unit,” Dhawan said after his team was defeated by 31 runs in the virtual post-match press conference.

“Of course, we didn’t have a century from our team, and we didn’t have a big partnership,” said the elegant left-handed batter, who finished with a brisk 79 to take the lead.

The inexplicable collapse of India’s middle-order ensured that fine half-centuries from Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli were not enough to win the match.

The South African duo of Temba Bavuma (110 off 143) and Rassie van der Dussen (113 off 143) was also praised by Dhawan (129 not out off 96).

When asked what he believed was the turning point in the game, he responded, “I believe both the South African batsmen (batters) batted quite well and they extended the innings quite a long way.”

According to the southpaw, he was pleased with how he performed during the match.

“Yes, the plan was to play on merit in the beginning, and it was a sort of a lucky break that we were able to return to our home country. Even though I was carrying on with my flow, when the wickets fell, I had it in my head to stitch together a big partnership.

A senior player, Shikhar Dhawan, said it was difficult for the new batsmen to score runs because the set batsmen wanted to go deep. “I got out because I didn’t expect the turn, but that happens,” Dhawan said, adding that the set batsmen wanted to go deep.

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