Team India created history as they clinched their first ever bilateral ODI series win on South African soil by beating the Proteas by 73 runs in the fifth One-day International (ODI) at St George's Park on Tuesday. India wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal wreaked havoc as the South Africans were skittled for 201 in 42.2 overs after India had posted 274 for seven. Kuldeep accounted for four South African wickets while Chahal picked two as the South Africans struggled on a slow track in Port Elizabeth. The Kohli-led team has taken an unassailable 4-1 lead in the six-match ODI series. A disappointed South Africa coach Ottis Gibson says he has no excuses to offer for the "hiding" his depleted side has taken from a rampaging India, leaving him with a lot to think about going forward.
"You take three of your best batsmen out of any team, they will struggle and when you do it against a very strong Indian team it has exposed us. I've told the lads in dressing room we will not make excuses but will try and get better. We have got a good hiding from India, let us not kid ourselves about that, but it has also given us a lot of food for thought going forward," said Gibson at the post-match conference.
"I know we have been focusing on the World Cup, but I don't think the team that will go to that tournament is the one that you saw tonight," he added.
Gibson also conceded that India's wrist spin pair of Chahal and Kuldeep have tormented his side in this ODI series but felt they may not be that useful in the World Cup in England.
"I think India has two world-class spinners and they might spin it anywhere, but we have got a whole year to learn to deal with that stuff. But I don't believe it will spin that much in England," he said.
He felt his batsmen let the team down at crucial junctures through the entire ODI series, particularly in the fifth match here.
"We were optimistic the series was still there to be drawn. To bowl India out for 270-odd was a great effort from the bowlers and we let ourselves down with the bat.
"You want to have a group of players who can adapt to certain conditions and play accordingly. We know we have those players but they have not produced it in this series, which is disappointing. We succumbed quite easily tonight," the coach said.