South Africa pacer Kagiso Rabada has been involved in an intense contest with India skipper Virat Kohli through the ongoing tour. At both Durban and Centurion, Rabada tested him with short bowling, but Kohli rose to the occasion.
"For all batsmen, we have a couple of plans. Obviously, that was one of them - short ball (to Kohli). At the end of the day, you are nice and competitive on the field. Coming off the field that changes," Rabada said on Tuesday.
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A depleted South Africa have not been able to compete against India in the ongoing ODI series but Rabada believes that all is not lost for the home team. India have taken a 2-0 lead in the six-match series. The third ODI will be played at Newlands on Wednesday.
"There are a few problems. I wouldn't say there's a lot. Sometimes when you do badly all it seems like there's a lot more going wrong than what really is happening. So failure is going to happen and it's going to happen again," Rabada said on Tuesday.
"It is very important we keep speaking the right language. Anything can happen in sport. We need to get as much momentum as we can. We are definitely not out of it. Definitely not!" he added.
Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have wreaked havoc in this series picking 13 wickets in the first two matches. The Proteas had as many as five different wrist spinners in their nets on Tuesday in a bid to stem the rot in the next match.
"We clearly haven't come to party. It's not acceptable at all. India are a strong team. They've just beaten Australia (at home) comprehensively. I know they've been playing all their games at home, but they've been playing good cricket.
"It doesn't help that we have been going through a few changes and not been in the best form since the Champions Trophy in one-day cricket. We are still trying to catch up at the moment. Hopefully, it comes pretty soon," said Rabada.
When asked about how the Proteas could possibly turn this deficit around, the pacer replied, In an ideal world, close to the perfect game, if a lot of people score runs and lot of people take wickets. Or you need individual brilliance. We'll take either.
"It's not generally that we something we talk about. We are experienced enough to know that cricket is a game of ups and downs. We just need to go back, see where were going wrong, calm down and do our business on the field looking to turn the momentum over."
Rabada said while this has been a factor, it is also a silver lining for the team because it is also preparing for the 2019 World Cup.
"It gives other players a chance. We've got players who have been playing in franchise cricket for a while and doing pretty well. Those three names that have dropped out of the team are pretty much irreplaceable at the moment.
"So, it just gives guys a chance to widen the pool so other players can experience international cricket. Perhaps it is a blessing in disguise," said the pacer.
(With PTI inputs)