Despite going into the fifth One-Day International (ODI) match trailing 3-1 against India, the Proteas still hoped they could turn their fortunes around in Port Elizabeth, but coach, Ottis Gibson admitted though it was possible, the batting was not at its best. The hosts suffered a 73-run loss after managing only 202 from the 275 the hosts had put up in the match played at the St. Georges Park on Tuesday.
The win secured India not only the series with a game to spare, but also their first ever ODI victory in South Africa. It was a disappointing result for the Proteas who had been given an excellent chance of winning the match and staying alive in the series thanks to a superb effort by their bowlers. But it was in the batting department where partnerships struggled to be put together, much to the dissatisfaction of the man at the helm.
"Every time we started to rebuild, we lost a wicket and we just kept losing wickets. We know we have those players, but they haven't produced it this series and that's disappointing. But I think the way we played as a group and some games have been disappointing especially tonight, because tonight was still a lot to play for," Gibson said after the match. "We gave ourselves a very good chance to keep ourselves in the series. We came in the afternoon very optimistic that the series was still there to be drawn. But we let ourselves down with the batting and it's something we've been talking about for five games now.
We showed at Wanderers that we could play better than we have, but tonight was disappointing." Man of the Match, India's Rohit Sharma hit his 17th career ODI century after scoring 115 off 126 balls, and Ottis said such instances were the difference between the two nations in the series. "A lot of credit has to go to India as well. Their top three, I think in almost every game one of their top three scored a hundred and that's been the difference in the whole series.
We've got one hundred, our captain Faf [du Plessis] scored a hundred in Durban and we've not been able to get another hundred since so when you look at those are the sort of little differences." The Proteas will look to salvage some pride when they take on India in the 6th and final ODI in Pretoria today. The Indian tour of SA will end with three exciting T20 matches.