SA fast bowler Junior Dala says proper execution of plans will be vital if the Proteas are to beat an in-form India in the second T20 at SuperSport Park at Centurion on Wednesday.
The Proteas lost the first T20 at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Sunday and another defeat will see them lose the series, with the final match to be played at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town on Saturday.
Stand-in captain JP Duminy won the toss and chose to field first in Johannesburg but that move backfired as they con-ceded 78 runs during the powerplay. They were punished for bowling too many short balls.
"When you play T20 cricket‚ you have to assess the wicket early on but we had a game plan and we stuck with it‚" Dala said.
"With any game plan‚ if you don’t execute well it always looks bad, and perhaps we did not execute well.
"We have assessed and we will go into the second match with a game plan where we will also have to be a little bit proactive instead of reactive," he said.
T20 cricket happens quickly and it is difficult to convey a message or communicate. "Maybe it is something that we can improve on. We are a young side and maybe we got caught up in the moment at times."
Though they leaked runs‚ the Proteas’ bowlers launched a comeback to restrict India to 203/5 after 20 overs. Dala says they drew lots of confidence from the way they finished their innings at the Wanderers.
"We must sharpen up and bring the run rate down between the seventh and 11th overs," Dala said.
The fact that we managed to have them under pressure will put us in good stead because at some stage India looked like they were going to score 240.
"We managed to restrict them to about 200 which was very good from our side."
Asked about his debut experience‚ Dala said he was anxious when Duminy asked him to take the new ball with Dane Paterson against the hugely experienced duo of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma.
"I was a bit nervous because I don’t really bowl that much in the powerplay for the Titans.
"But I was glad that I could control the ball and I was pleased to get a few wickets.
"My debut meant a lot to me because I felt I had a good SA A tour to England last year. I always felt that I was a few franchise matches away from cracking the nod with the national team and I am glad that I overcame my injuries."
Quinton de Kock has fully recovered from a wrist injury and will be available to play in the Test series against Australia starting in March.
Captain Faf du Plessis will start batting in the nets on Wednesday. De Kock‚ who has been out of action with a finger injury since the second ODI against India‚ joined the T20 side’s training session on Tuesday. His return to fitness offers him another opportunity to impress coach Ottis Gibson after he underperformed in the Test series where he managed only 71 runs in six innings.
Team manager Mohammed Moosajee said batsman AB de Villiers‚ who was withdrawn from the T20 squad last week‚ is expected to make a full recovery from a knee injury and will be fit for the first Test against Australia.