Rajkot: South African batsman Faf du Plessis on Saturday said his team has let some of its own momentum pass and allowed India to gain in confidence by committing tactical errors during the Indore ODI.
"That's the most disappointing thing from team perspective. We had India on the ropes -- 2-0 in the T20s and 1-0 in the one-dayers. We got nice momentum behind us, but now we have given them a sniff," du Plessis said on the eve of the third one-dayer here.
"One-all in the series and they will be confident again winning. But in saying that I don't think both teams have played their best cricket. We have both been firing at around 80 per cent. I think both teams would be inclined to play some better cricket."
Du Plessis said his team allowed Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni to rescue the hosts out of a precarious position with a blistering knock in Indore.
"I think we played well into MS's hands. He had time to bat. He could just knock the ball around and be there at the end on 60 and he could then play an open, aggressive game. We made an error there to make it easy for him," said du Plessis.
Dhoni played a blistering knock of 92 off just 86 balls and batted with the lower order to rally his team from 124 for 6 to a fighting total of 247 which his bowlers and fielders did well to defend and guide India to a series-levelling 22-run victory.
"I know MS and he is a fantastic cricketer and like all fantastic cricketers they eventually produce the goods. Good players make it to the top and even under pressure they will come good. In terms of tactics, we played a bit into his hands.
"There was quite a bit of pressure on him. He was biding his time with eight (six) wickets down. If you give a good player like that an opportunity to get into his tempo he will make use of it. MS is a very good hitter and when he's on 50 it's very difficult to bowl to him," added du Plessis.
The South African player said even after that his side had a great chance at 130 for 2 but neither he nor J P Duminy batted through to take the team home.
"Then we were in a great position at 130 for 2 with myself and JP batting, and one of us should have been there to win the game. It was disappointing that we had lots of starts but could not get the team across the line."
Du Plessis conceded that the come-from-behind win has given India fresh hopes of clinching the ODI series after they had been on a three-match losing streak, commencing with a 0-2 defeat in the Twenty20 rubber held earlier on the tour.
"I think it is fair to say that we and India, in two different places, were in a position to win the game from where we lost. They should have won the first and we the second. From our point of view, it's pretty disappointing that we could not capitalise and be 2-0 up in the series."
He vowed to carry on to make a bigger contribution than he has done so far if he gets his eye in from now on.
"I was very disappointed with the previous game. As the no. 3 your role is to get big scores. In one aspect it's nice to be among the runs and chipping in. But it's very important for me to make match-winning contribution and the 50 in the previous game wasn't that. If I do get that position again I would order myself to be more disciplined and get the team out of the mire."
Du Plessis did not agree with the view that the visitors were still a bit suspect against the spinning ball.
"We have played spin really well. If I talk about the first game (at Kanpur which SA won by five runs), there was more spin in the first innings and we still managed to get 300 plus. In the second we were cruising at 130 for 2 and spin was not an issue at all.
"But the nature of playing in these conditions is that if you do lose a wicket, their bowlers are especially so good that they squeeze you, don't give lot of singles or bad balls and, for a period of time, they can be on top of you. It's just a case of almost searching and working through that so that the momentum is with you again. We had the game in our hands and we lost it. We will take the learning from that." He brushed aside the heat factor and also praised young fast bowler Kagiso Rabada as a wonderful talent.