India must learn from ODI defeats, says Dhoni


CENTURION: India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is hopeful his squad will learn from their defeat against South Africa in the just-concluded One-day Series in time for the first of two Test matches at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on December 18. The Indians lost the ODI series 2-0 after rain prevented the tourists batting in the third match on Wednesday which was subsequently declared a no-result. Despite the outcome, Dhoni said that he was glad the one-day games were played before the Tests because it had given his players a chance to get used to the pace and bounce of South African pitches.

“We were looking positive at the break,” he said. “This was one of the best pitches for the batsmen. We exposed their middle order to some extent and we were able to capitalise with the new ball.”

India play a two-day match against a South African Invitation XI in Benoni on Friday and Saturday ahead of the first Test.

South Africa skipper AB De Villiers saw it otherwise saying he hoped his side would be able to take their one-day dominance into the Test series.

“We spoke about it before the first ODI, saying we could make it a long tour for them (India) if we started really well and laid our authority down. We did that and we have managed to scar one or two of their batsmen,” he said.

Before the rain fell on Centurion’s SuperSport Park, the third ODI was mainly notable for South African youngster Quinton de Kock hitting his third century in a row.

The 20-year-old left-hander made 101 in a South African total of 301 for eight.

The ton meant that he joined four other players who had hit a hat-trick of hundreds in one-day internationals, Pakistan’s Zaheer Abbas and Saeed Anwar and two South Africans, Herschelle Gibbs and AB de Villiers.

De Kock was named man of the series.