Poor shot selection cost us match, laments Smith

Johannesburg, Jan 16 (PTI) Chasing a paltry 190, SouthAfrica squandered a great chance to take a 2-0 lead in theseries after slumping to a narrow one-run loss against Indiain the second ODI here and captain Graeme Smith said it waspoor shot selection that cost his side the match.

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

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

"It would have been wonderful if I could have batedthrough but I was done by a good slower ball. While batting welacked in decision making. We have to work on our shotselection," Smith said.

"We were great with the ball as well as in the field butwe were not smart enough at crucial time. We need to work onthese areas. One loss doesn''t make us bad players," Smithadded.

Asked whether South Africa used their batting power-playsto perfection yesterday, he said, "The decisions to takebatting power play were right but unfortunately we lostwickets. It was quite disappointing for us not to have crossedthe winning line. We were not at all complacent coming in tothis match."

The Protea skipper also lauded India''s wrecker-in-chiefMunaf Patel, who accounted for him as well as dangerman HashimAmla during his four for 29 runs match-winning spell.

"This type of wicket suit Munaf''s bowling style. He hasgot lot of variation in his bowling. He mixes up those slowerballs very nicely," Smith said of the Indian right-arm pacer.

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

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

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