Mumbai: Former South Africa skipper Kepler Wessels, who is an expert panelist for the India-South Africa limited over series, said 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 ODI 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.
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 snared 33 wickets between them and literally bamboozled the South African batsmen.
Hailing the quality of wrist spin bowled by the Indian duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, Wessels 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 said.
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. India will be touring England and Australia in the later part of the year and the 60-year-old former left-handed batsman is of the opinion that India should go sufficiently in advance to these countries and must play warm-up matches prior to the Test rubber.
"They should definitely have some warm-up matches in England because it takes some time to get used to the English conditions. In Australia also there will be additional bounce, so one or a few warm-up matches will be a good idea," said the 60-year-old Wessels. "They should have had a warm-up match in South Africa. I am not saying that would have impacted on them winning the series, but it would have helped them to get used to the conditions," he signed off.