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India spinners leave South Africa batsmen mentally shaky, admits Chris Morris

South Africa all-rounder Chris Morris acknowledged the Indian spin duo, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, have left the home batsmen virtually clueless.

cricket Updated: Feb 09, 2018 23:54 IST
Khurram Habib
Khurram Habib
Hindustan Times, Johannesburg
South Africa vs India,Chris Morris,South Africa cricket team
Kuldeep Yadav (C) and Yuzvendra Chahal have troubled the South African batsman in the ongoing ODI series.(AFP)

With hardly any gap between the games in the ODI series, South Africa batsmen have not had any time to sit down and plan how to tackle Indian spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav.

Even while they have been trying to get used to playing spin in the nets, the hosts seem to be focussing on the mental aspect. South Africa batsmen have traditionally struggled against spin, and this series has reopened old wounds.

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South Africa all-rounder Chris Morris admitted the hosts have been weak in the mind. “We haven’t been playing them well; we’ve been a bit tentative towards them.”

Morris added they just need to be positive.

“I wouldn’t say there are any new plans, to be very honest. It’s just about doing a little bit more hard work and playing a positive game, focussing on hitting the cricket ball and stop focussing on what’s around you.

“We don’t need to hit more balls, we don’t need to change anything. We just need to focus on what’s going on at the moment. Maybe situations have caused a bit of tentativeness. Like I said, the only way we can combat that is doing a bit more homework and focusing on what’s going on ahead of us. We’re not panicking, hitting more balls – it’s not panic stations. We know we played badly against spin, so we’ll take it on the chin and move on.”

India appeal for a wicket during a One Day International match between South Africa and India at Newlands. (AP)

The South Africa all-rounder, who has looked the best of the home players against Indian bowlers but has not found much support from the other end, said he has been unable to play his natural game.

“No, what you’ve seen me is see ball, hit ball. Every time the spinners have come on, we’ve been on the back foot unfortunately.”

The fact that the series is on the line has added pressure on the team. “It’s natural. We’ve obviously got an unbeaten run in Pink Day ODIs and that has added a little bit of pressure, which is cool. It’s do-or-die for us now. So, we’ll be fighting for every single ball, every single run out there.”

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Although India have won their three matches convincingly, Morris feels the Proteas were millimetres away from victory in two of them. South Africa almost had Virat Kohli in Durban and Cape Town. The India skipper went on to score centuries in both games.

“He’s got a hundred in every single country he’s played in. The guy’s in serious form at the moment. But we know if we bowl well enough to him we could get him out. If we can get him out, we can put India under pressure.

“In saying that, we were millimetres away in Cape Town, we were millimetres away in Durban. No edge there (in Cape Town) and it’s a different game, Faf takes a blinder (in Durban) and it’s a different game. It’s a game of centimetres and millimetres at the moment.”

First Published: Feb 09, 2018 20:36 IST