Former South Africa cricketer Neil McKenzie on Friday said that the South African team need to improve their batting show against the spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal if they want to give India a fight in the six-match ODI series. In the first ODI, Kuldeep and Chahal shared five wickets between them, restricting the home side to a modest total of 269/8. While Kuldeep finished with figures of three for 34, Chahal ended the match with figures of two for 45. The Indian spin duo took wickets in middle overs which did not let the hosts settle and get runs on the board. Chasing 270 to win, India captain Virat Kohli led from the front with a magnificent 112 as the visitors overhauled the target easily to take 1-0 lead in the series.
"You know what sort of total you need at Durban and losing wickets at regular intervals didn't help South Africa. Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav bowled very well," McKenzie told PTI.
"The Indian pacers had asked questions upfront with bounce and then the two wrist spinners came into play. They tied South Africa down, cut off the runs and then got two big scalps of Quinton de Kock and David Miller," he explained.
MzKenzie further added that the South African batsmen will have to counter the wrist spinners in order to cut down the element of surprise.
"South African batsmen wouldn't have seen a lot of these leggies, so they will need to go back and do their homework. They need to start countering this wrist spin from the next ODI," McKenzie said.
"The partnership between Faf du Plessis and Chris Morris got South Africa back in the game, but they needed more firepower at the back end. It didn't happen because they kept losing wickets at regular intervals," he added.
Talking about the fine performances displayed by both the captains, McKenzie said, "I think it was an unbelievable innings from Faf (du Plessis). It was a special knock, given how South Africa were losing wickets but 270 on that surface was not good enough."
"He (Kohli) played a great innings and mixed it up with a lot of aggression. What I like about him is the different elements he has. He has got the power play, he can rotate strike and manipulate the field."
"He doesn't go from 1st gear to 5th gear straightaway. Virat has a lot of gears. It was a terrific knock and it is always good to see two captains leading from the front," McKenzie remarked.
(With PTI Inputs)