MUMBAI: Hailing the quality of wrist spin bowled by the Indian duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, ex-South Africa captain Kepler Wessels has said that his country’s batsmen were not used to playing wrist spin, and hence struggled against the two in the one-day series.
“They struggled because most of the (current) South African batsmen hadn’t played against wrist spinners very much. They were taken by surprise by the quality of spin and they hadn’t seen anything like that before,” Wessels told PTI.
The Virat Kohli-led Indian team scripted history by winning a first-ever ODI bilateral series in South Africa with a stunning 5-1 margin.
Orthodox leggie Chahal and Chinaman bowler Kuldeep shared 33 wickets between them and literally bamboozled the South African batsmen.
Wessels maintained that the Indian triumph did not come as a surprise to him.
“I wasn’t surprised by India’s performance as I knew going into the One Day series (after Tests) they are going to be competitive and they are a good One Day team. South Africa had a depleted side and they lost players through injuries (in the series) and their play against spinners was not good enough. India was the better side,” said Wessels, who had also played for Australia when his native country was in cricket isolation during the apartheid era.
Former South Africa all-round stalwart Jacques Kallis had recently said that there weren’t enough world class leg spinners in South Africa and hence their batsmen found it difficult to play against Indian wrist spinners.
Wessels agreed with Kallis’s views and quipped, “I agree with him and he is absolutely right.”
India lost the Test series 2-1 to South Africa held prior to the ODI rubber and a lot of former players have blamed India’s lack of sufficient preparation for the loss.