India's torturous tour of South Africa ended with a four-run defeat in the third and final ODI match at Newlands, Cape Town on Sunday. Chasing a 288-run target for a consolation win in the three-match series, India could manage only 283. Thus the visitors suffered a series sweep at the hands of a young South African side.
After the match, stand-in skipper KL Rahul lamented the many mistakes that the visitors have made during the series. The last time they toured South Africa, India won the ODIs 5-1 in a six-match series in 2018. After losing the preceding three-match Test series 1-2, India needed to win the ODIs to salvage some pride. Instead, India simply capitulated. They were humbled 0-3 by the Proteas.
"Quite obvious where we've gone wrong. No shying away from it. At times, our shot selection has been poor. Even with the ball, we haven't been hitting the right areas consistently. Have played well in patches but haven't built pressure over a long period," Rahul tried to assess India's performance after the defeat.
Rahul won the toss and elected to bowl first in the tour finale. India, in a bid to stop the slump, made as many as four changes. And Deepak Chahar, playing his first match of the tour, almost pulled off a heist. But the all-rounder failed to curb his enthusiasm and departed when India were ten runs away.
South Africa seal tense win in Cape Town! 🙌— ICC (@ICC) January 23, 2022
The hosts complete a 3-0 whitewash with a four-run win in the third and final ODI 👏🏻
Watch the series live on https://t.co/CPDKNxoJ9v (in select regions)#SAvIND | https://t.co/u8dAzkQuxt pic.twitter.com/K2Z86eF52p
"Can't fault the boys for the passion and effort. In terms of skill and understanding the situation - sometimes we've gone wrong. But it happens - we've got some new guys in the team. In the one-day series at times we've kept doing the same mistakes," Rahul added.
Rahul, who achieved the unwanted feat of being the first Indian captain to lose each of the first three ODIs, however, remain optimistic, and said, "It's early in our journey to the World Cup. We can go back, have some hard conversations. Have had a great time in South Africa. Have been looked after really well. We've shown a lot of fight."
India started the tour with a 113-run win in the first Test in December, then lost the next five outings across two formats.