Proteas ploy to stop Rohit Sharma: Get him out in first 10 deliveries
Indore: Unbeaten in the tour they might be, but Indian batsman Rohit Sharma's form is giving South Africa sleepless nights and the Proteas are planning to get the marauding right-hander out of their way in the first 10 balls itself in the third ODI on Wednesday.
Aware of Rohit's destructive abilities, South Africa's bowling coach Charl Langeveldt is busy working out a plan to dismiss the Indian batsman early.
"At the moment he (Rohit) is really batting well. He bats well in Indian conditions. He is a great player. The first 10 balls to him are important. You need to try and get him out in the first 10 balls. We will probably look to bowl the glory ball. He is one of those players who kicks on if he gets past 20," Langeveldt told reporters in the pre-match press conference at the Holkar Stadium on Tuesday.
Happy with South Africa's performance so far in the tour, Langeveldt said adaptability is key to success for any team in Indian conditions.
"So far it has been great. We had three wins. In the last 10 overs (in Kanpur) we were looking down the barrel but we did very well to come over the line and win the game," the former Proteas fast bowler said.
"The tour is still very long. We had just three wins but India is a strong team. In India you will go for runs so the main thing is always to compete. We need to compete in every ball. If you go for 6 in one ball then you should compete in the next ball. These are not easy conditions to bowl at. So if we are competing in every ball there is a good chance, we might win the game," said Langeveldt, who replaced Allan Donald earlier this year as South Africa's bowling coach.
"If we assess the conditions quick enough, we try to change things. We just don't bowl yorkers in the death overs. The guy that adapts quickly will get success quickly. In training as well our focus is on bowling everything."
"We have been really working hard. In the past there were instances when we lost big moments. We are not trying to change a lot and probably we will go with the same seam attack. In India you are going to go for runs. So if you can control the last 5 and first 10 overs, then you can win games," he added.
Langeveldt also said that there are doubts over middle-order mainstay Faf du Plessis' availability as he is down with a knee problem from which he recovered just before the India tour.
"He (Du Plessis) is having a fitness test today. We will make a decision on him tomorrow," the coach said.
Langeveldt was full of praise for young fast bowler Kagiso Rabada, who successfully defended the 11 runs needed by India off the last over to win the second ODI in Kanpur.
"Rabada is special. He learned a lot from Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn. He also learned a lot from Vernon Philander. He is a very good listener and he tries to implement his learning into the game," the Protea bowling coach said.
Langeveldt also backed pacer Dale Steyn and explosive middle-order batsman David Miller, both of whom are struggling with form of late.
"David (Miller) at the moment is struggling for form, but he has got the backing of the team management. The boys are rallying around him. He just needs one good knock.
"Steyn is still bowling well. He is a vital cog in our bowling attack. He has been excellent in the last couple of years. I don't think he is down. He has just given 5 an over upfront. As a bowling coach I will back him any day," Langeveldt said.
Langeveldt said the team which adapts best to the conditions here will have an edge in Wednesday's game. It's a high scoring ground. It's a small venue as well. So it's going to be difficult for the bowlers. You need to adapt to the conditions," he concluded.