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'Our Wickets Fell in a Heap': Shikhar Dhawan Rues Middle-order Collapse

Shikhar Dhawan was the top scorer for India. (AP Photo)

Shikhar Dhawan was the top scorer for India. (AP Photo)

India's inexplicable middle-order collapse ensured that fine half-centuries from Dhawan and Virat Kohli did not count for much.

India opener Shikhar Dhawan on Wednesday rued the middle-order collapse after the team’s loss to South Africa in the first ODI. In the chase of 297, India were 138/1 at one stage before losing their way to finish on 265/8 and thus suffering a 31-run defeat in the series opener.

“We had a good start and I feel the wicket was slow, it was offering a bit of turn as well. So, when you are chasing (around) 300 runs, when the middle-order comes to bat, it is not easy to play shots,” Dhawan said at the virtual post-match press conference.

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“Our wickets fell in a heap and that had an impact on us as a batting unit. Of course, from our team we did not have a century and we did not have a big partnership,” added the elegant left-handed batter, who top-scored with a brisk 79.

India’s inexplicable middle-order collapse ensured that fine half-centuries from Dhawan and Virat Kohli did not count for much.

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Dhawan also praised the South African duo of Temba Bavuma (110 off 143) and Rassie van der Dussen (129 not out off 96).

Asked what was the turning point of the game, he said, “I feel both the South African batsmen (batters) batted quite well and they took the innings quite deep.”

Dhawan though was happy with his display.

“Yes, the plan was to play on merit in the beginning and it was a sort of wicket that we get back home. I was carrying forward my flow, but when the wickets fell, it was in my mind to stitch a big partnership.

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“It wasn’t easy for the new batsmen to make runs, the plan of the set batsmen was to take it deep, but unfortunately I got out, didn’t expect the turn, but yes that happens,” Dhawan, one of the senior players, added.

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