K. L. Rahul: India must take stock after series loss to South Africa

The India captain says his team needs to have some hard conversations after the 3-0 series loss.

K. L. Rahul (left) and Prasidh Krishna celebrate the wicket of Dwaine Pretorius at Newlands, Cape Town on Sunday. India lost the third ODI by four runs.   -  Getty Images

India captain K. L. Rahul said there needs to be some “hard conversations” for his team after its 3-0 defeat in the one-day series against a relatively inexperienced South Africa side.

India was expected to take the series and all three games were played on pitches that suited the side, but it could not get over the line. The team was without the injured Rohit Sharma, who will be captain when he returns, but was otherwise at close to full-strength.

“Our shot selection has been poor at times and with the ball we haven’t been hitting the right areas consistently enough,” Rahul said at the post-match presentation after the agonising four-run loss in the third game at Newlands on Sunday.

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“That’s why we ended up losing the series. We need to try and understand how we can get better as a team.”

India looked flat at times in the series, though that may have to do with the stifling heat all three games were played in. Rahul does not believe the players can be questioned for effort. “I can’t fault the boys for the passion and the effort. Yes, in terms of skill and understanding the situation of the game, sometimes we have gone wrong, but that can happen.”

He believes what is important now is for the team to regroup and take stock of the series loss, and make changes where they feel it is necessary. “We kept making the same mistakes but it is early on in our journey to the World Cup. So we must go back (home), have some hard conversations and look at ourselves in the mirror to see where we can get better.”

India has been fined 40 per cent of its match fee for maintaining a slow over-rate against South Africa in the third ODI.

Match referee Andy Pycroft imposed the sanction after KL Rahul’s side was ruled to be two overs short of the target after time allowances were taken into consideration.

“In accordance with Article 2.22 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to minimum over-rate offences, players are fined 20 per cent of their match fee for every over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time,” the ICC said in a statement.

Rahul pleaded guilty to the offence and accepted the proposed sanction, so there was no need for a formal hearing.

On-field umpires Marais Erasmus and Bongani Jele, third umpire Allauhudien Palekar and fourth umpire Adrien Holdstock levelled the charge.

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