Poor shot selection cost us match, laments Smith

Updated: Jan 16, 2011, 15:09 PM IST

Johannesburg: Chasing a paltry 190, South Africa squandered a great chance to take a 2-0 lead in the
series after slumping to a narrow one-run loss against India in the second ODI here and captain Graeme Smith said it was poor shot selection that cost his side the match.

Smith, who led from the front in South Africa`s run chase yesterday with a fluent 77 off 98 balls, was of the view that the Wanderers pitch was not suitable for stroke-making and the batters needed to apply themselves to score runs.

"I think it was not a free-flowing wicket. It was not easy to play shots on this wicket. The ball was stopping and coming, especially the change of pace deliveries. You need a solid performance to win this type of match and not personal glory," he said at the post-match press conference.

"It would have been wonderful if I could have bated through but I was done by a good slower ball. While batting we lacked in decision making. We have to work on our shot selection," Smith said.

"We were great with the ball as well as in the field but we were not smart enough at crucial time. We need to work on these areas. One loss doesn`t make us bad players," Smith added.

Asked whether South Africa used their batting power-plays to perfection yesterday, he said, "The decisions to take batting power play were right but unfortunately we lost wickets. It was quite disappointing for us not to have crossed the winning line. We were not at all complacent coming in to this match."

The Protea skipper also lauded India`s wrecker-in-chief Munaf Patel, who accounted for him as well as dangerman Hashim Amla during his four for 29 runs match-winning spell.

"This type of wicket suit Munaf`s bowling style. He has got lot of variation in his bowling. He mixes up those slower balls very nicely," Smith said of the Indian right-arm pacer.

He was also full of praise for South Africa`s left-arm fast bowler Lonwabo Tsotsobe (4/22), who notched up his second successive four-wicket haul in the series.

"He (Tsotsobe) started well in Abu Dhabi while playing against Pakistan. He has gained a lot of confidence. He bowled very well today and I hope he continues to do well for us," Smith said.