The ongoing battle involving the Proteas and India has seen the momentum of the series swing back and forth between the two sides throughout.
But heading into the clash in Mumbai it’s honours even with the series well-poised at two-all after the hosts managed to snuff out South Africa’s chase, even with AB de Villiers making a century, in Chennai earlier this week.
“Look, India played better than us on the day and that was the bottom line,” Russell Domingo said quite frankly after his side fell short by 35-runs to surrender their series lead.
“We didn’t have a big enough partnership to keep us in the game for a period of time. Every time we seemed to get a partnership going we lost a wicket at crucial times,” the Proteas coach lamented.
“There are such small margins in this game.”
One thing that was evident during the pursuit of the 300 required for victory was that South Africa’s batting ranks looked thinner than usual thanks to the unavailability of JP Duminy, sitting out with an injured hand, and they weren’t helped that both David Miller and Hashim Amla both failed to produce runs.
“We’re not reliant on one player. We’ve got a good squad and injuries are part and parcel of the game,” Domingo said of the playing XI and while he felt there is an element of balance to the side, Duminy was missed.
“We were happy with the balance. It would have been great to have another batsman but it wasn’t meant to be. We felt we needed to strengthen our bowling attack because JP wasn’t there and it didn’t work for us,” Domingo said.
“That’s why JP has been so important to us because he’s a batter and he can bowl a vast majority of overs,” he added before touching on Amla’s run of scores. The right-hander has amassed just 66 runs in his four innings so far in this series.
“All players have periods in their careers where they aren’t churning out the runs like they should. But we know Hashim could get a hundred in Mumbai, he’s that kind of player,” said Domingo.
With the series all square heading into the final match it’s expected to be a closely fought contest in Mumbai.
“It’s going to be a great game. If we had arrived and someone said we’d be two-all after winning the T20 series we would have signed up for it.
“It’s been a great effort by us thus far,” the Proteas mentor said.