Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
South Africa all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo is hoping his side can replicate the success they had in the fourth ODI in Johannesburg when they go up against India in the fifth match in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday.
The Proteas avoided a series defeat after beating India by five wickets via the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method in the Pink ODI at the Wanderers.
However, facing another must-win situation on Tuesday, Phehlukwayo is optimistic that his side will be able to further reduce the series deficit to 3-2.
“We have a very positive team environment,” Phehlukwayo told the official Cricket South Africa website. “We have a good fighting spirit and team culture. We were never down and out, we were always looking to fight back. We never lost hope and we knew we were never far away from a victory.
“The team has been really positive. We have been training hard, we have good momentum from the last game that we played. We weren’t far away from a victory, the guys have been working hard in the nets and we have been specific about our training. The team environment has been good.”
David Miller and Heinrich Klaasen starred with the bat for South Africa in the fourth ODI as they made a 28-ball 39 and an unbeaten 43 off 27 deliveries respectively.
With Phehlukwayo hammering 23 runs off just five balls, South Africa were able to chase down their revised target of 202.
What was evident during the match in Johannesburg was the fact that the Proteas had finally managed to silence the Indian spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, who tormented them during the first three games.
Chahal conceded 68 runs off his 5.3 overs, while Kuldeep leaked 51 runs off six overs.
“We have been doing a lot of analysis,” Phehlukwayo said. “We have good game plans and the conditions were different. We had a game plan of being positive and we wanted to look to score from good positions.
“The game plan changed, I went in ahead of Chris (Morris) to keep the left-hand right-hand combination going. I went in trying to be positive, I just watched the ball and tried to execute my game plans to the best of my ability.”