South Africa were outclassed by India in the first One-day International (ODI) of the series in Durban on Thursday as the former lost the match by six wickets. While the South Africa captain Faf du Plessis praised the Indian bowling, he slammed his batting for putting up a dismal show and failing to do the most 'basic' thing of putting together partnerships in an ODI game, which ended their 17-match unbeaten home run. Du Plessis felt that his side were 60 runs short after electing to bat first on a Durban pitch that progressively quickened up.
"We didn't bat well. As a batting unit, for the second top score to be 30 or 40 shows that there weren't partnerships. The most basic thing about ODI cricket is two guys getting together and putting some sort of partnership together," Du Plessis added.
He scored a magnificent 120, his ninth ODI hundred, but did not get support from the other end as Indian wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal strangled South African batsmen in the middle overs.
"I thought the Indian spinners bowled well but still we should have been better today against them," he added.
Du Plessis said it was the batsmen's job to give the bowlers a decent enough target to defend.
"I certainly think we needed 300. 260 odd wasn't enough on that deck. The last two games we played here, we got more runs and won. We chased 370 here against Australia.
"So, I think it's unfair to say to the bowlers that they were poor. I thought purely we didn't have runs. If we had got 60-70 more, it would have been easier for our bowlers," he said.
Kuldeep and Chahal shared five wickets between them to restrict South Africa to 269 for 8, a target which India overhauled to take a 1-0 lead in the six-match ODI series.
Kuldeep finished with 3 for 34 in his allotted 10 overs and was easily the pick of the Indian bowlers. He bamboozled the South African batsmen with his craft and removed JP Duminy, David Miller and Chris Morris to star in the win.
Du Plessis said the way Kuldeep and Chahal bowled, it shows ODI cricket is slowly tilting in favour of wrist spinners.
He said both the Indian spinners brought in a surprise element for his batsmen, which was difficult to handle in one go.
"It shows that in white-ball cricket the game is moving towards wrist-spinners, because they have the ability to pick up wickets and that's what they (Kuldeep and Chahal) did today," Du Plessis said.
(With PTI inputs)