Marizanne Kapp returned to the international fold with a fighting half-century. © Getty Images

A glance at the batting card of South Africa from the first ODI will tell you that Laura Wolvaardt, Sune Luus and Marizanne Kapp got starts. Apart from Kapp, the others didn’t convert theirs into something big. But having watched the game, Trisha Chetty and Mignon du Preez – though the score against their names read 14 and 16 respectively – looked in nice touch. Du Preez was taking the attack to the Indian spinners as well, having played even the T20Is.

However, at a time when they should have been patient, both succumbed to Ekta Bisht’s spin, getting stumped. As a result, it all felt like the same old story. South Africa’s middle order has seldom come to party on this tour and the second ODI provides a good chance for a correction.

The wicket was good for batting, as Kapp and captain Luus admitted after the game. “On this wicket after we decided to bat first, we obviously wanted 220-plus,” said Luus. She expects the middle order to fire soon, putting their failures down to lack of confidence. “I think it is about confidence. The more they bat, the better they bat.”

While the 165-run target hardly gave much challenge to India, Priya Punia began her ODI career on a memorable note. Even Jemimah Rodrigues came to party with her second ODI fifty. But most of the laurels could be reserved for the hosts’ bowling.

Disciplined bowling and consistent strikes meant that South Africa could never get going. Throughout the tour, India’s bowlers have found an early wicket and on one occasion that they didn’t, the tourists won the match.

This is one area where the hosts would want to work upon. What if they do not get an early wicket or two? How will they then go about their stuff? Will the spinners then be effective as well? Well, these questions will only be answered if South Africa can come up with a better batting performance.

Over to Friday (October 11) then to show us what is in store at the Reliance Cricket Ground in Vadodara. A win for India would seal the series, while a South Africa win would see the series stay alive till the final match.

 

Squads:

India: Mithali Raj (c), Jemimah Rodrigues, Harmanpreet Kaur (vc), Punam Raut, Pooja Vastrakar, Deepti Sharma, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Jhulan Goswami, Shikha Pandey, Mansi Joshi, Ekta Bisht, Poonam Yadav, D Hemalatha, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Priya Punia

South Africa: Sune Luus (c), Tasmin Brits, Trisha Chetty (wk), Nadine de Klerk, Shabnim Ismail, Ayabonga Khaka, Lara Goodall, Marizanne Kapp, Lizelle Lee, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Tumi Sekhukhune, Nondumiso Shangase, Mignon du Preez, Laura Wolvaardt

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