South Africa all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo sees tide turning vs Indian cricket team

Buoyed by their thrilling win in the previous game, South Africa are hoping they can continue their upsurge against India in the penultimate ODI at Port Elizabeth. India lead the series 3-1.

cricket Updated: Feb 12, 2018 23:20 IST
Khurram Habib
Khurram Habib
Hindustan Times, Port Elizabeth
Andile Phehlukwayo,India vs South Africa,South Africa vs India
South Africa earned a victory against India in the fourth ODI at Johannesburg.(AP)

Hosts South Africa seem to have got the boost they wanted going into the later stages of the ODI series against India. Besides their new-found confidence against the spinners, they are banking on the conditions at a venue that is not India’s favourite and where it is slightly tough for batting.

With a wicket that has traditionally been on the slower side, the St George’s Park stadium hasn’t seen any change. The boundaries are not as short as in many new venues.

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“We know about the wicket, it is home conditions and we know how to go about it. The guys have been specific in their training. They have been doing good analysis and have good game plans,” said all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo on Monday.

“If you look at the game of cricket, there are small margins. Sometimes, there is a shift in momentum. In a tight game like that, you need a small momentum shift and that’s where the game can go away for any team. But I think the guys did really well, stuck to their guns and backed themselves,” he said, referring to the win in the rain-truncated fourth ODI at Johannesburg.

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Asked about their strategy against Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, Phehlukwayo, who smashed 23 off five balls to seal the win at Wanderers, said it is the mental aspect that the Proteas have improved to be able to play the India spinners.

“You just need to be really positive in your game plan and how you approach the game mentally. That victory has given us a boost. The guys have been working really hard in the nets. We have been in a good space and the team environment is really good.

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“You just want to take the momentum, you don’t want to worry too much about what they do but what you do as a team. Once again, it’s a new game. So, you just want to take the new stuff and back yourself.”

Phehlukwayo said the return of AB de Villiers has had a positive impact.

“He’s one of the best in the world, the vibe he brings to the team and the leadership. What he can teach us around the changing room just by himself being a contributor. The contribution he brings to the team is always good.”

First Published: Feb 12, 2018 22:50 IST