INDIAN CAPTAIN Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Sunday blamed the slow and low wicket in the second innings for their 18-run loss in their third One-Day International (ODI) against South Africa at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot on Sunday.
"I thought 270 was a par score, the wicket kept getting lower and slower and the dew didn't help us out. It became a bit two-paced and become difficult to play the big shot. We are looking for batsmen to play at five, six and seven," he said at the post match presentation ceremony.
"We are looking to give chances as well so it's a tricky one. Ajinkya Rahane bats well at three but Virat couldn't score, this is something we will have to look at.
"I thought our bowlers did well, maybe a bit more dew would have made it difficult. They batted when the wicket was at its best and they also couldn't find runs at the death," Dhoni added.
Quinton de Kock scored 103 runs and put together a 118-run stand for the third wicket with Faf du Plessis (60) to propel the visitors to a fighting total of 270/7. Morne Morkel then spearheaded the South African attack with an excellent display of pace bowling on the batting friendly wicket as the hosts could only manage 252/6 despite fluent half-centuries from Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.
The Proteas have thus taken a 2-1 lead in the five-match ODI series. They won the first match in Kanpur by five runs before the Indians levelled the series by registering a 22-run victory at Indore.
The fourth and penultimate ODI will be played in Chennai on October 22.