‘Our plan was to…’: Shikhar Dhawan shares India’s strategy after series leveling up on SA

Ranchi: India captain Shikhar Dhawan said the team’s plan to tackle the South African bowlers in the first ten overs of the run chase clicked as the hosts took a comfortable seven-wicket win in the second ODI to tie the three-game series here. Sunday.

India chased the goal of 279 with 25 balls remaining, riding a brilliant 113 out of 111 balls from Shreyas Iyer and 93 from Ishan Kishan.

“The ball came up nicely, but it stayed low. So our plan was to beat the bowlers in the first ten overs,” Dhawan said during the post-match presentation.

“Once the dew came into view, it slid on. So the back foot shots were easy to do.” Dhawan said the coin toss worked perfectly for the team too, as South Africa chose to bat first.

“I’m happy. Thanks to (stand-in captain) Keshav (Maharaj) for choosing to bat,” Dhawan said with a laugh.

“I have to say that Ishan and Shreyas, the way they created that collaboration was amazing to watch.” He also praised his bowlers for their performances, especially debutant Shahbaz Ahmed who had figures of 1/54 from his 10 overs.

“I’m very happy with the bowlers, especially Shahbaz, the way he bowled in the first ten overs and gave us the breakthrough.” Shreyas Iyer, the man of the match for his 113 not out on 111 balls, said: “I am ecstatic. When I hit the bat, I spoke to Ishan and he was in the mood to take on the bowlers. So we decided to play the ball on merit and see how it goes.

“Tomorrow is a travel day and then another race the day after. Motivated for that, let’s see what awaits me and the team.” When asked if there were any changes in his batting approach, Iyer said: “I’m not someone who changes according to the bowler. I’m someone who changes on instinct.

“It’s not something I try in nets first, I change it in the match itself.” Stand-in Keshav Maharaj said: “I don’t think we expected the dew to play such a big part, so we chose to bat after we won the toss.

“But credit to Shreyas and Sanju. We expected it to get slower and lower, but after 20 overs the field got better.”

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