Centurion: India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was disappointed that the batsmen failed to fire as a unit in the five-match ODI series against South Africa but was quick to point out the positives of the series preceding the World Cup in the subcontinent next month.
"The learning before the World Cup is to keep wickets in hand for the last ten overs, the powerplay."
"Two warm-up games before the World Cup will be ideal," he said. "It was a good learning, a good preparation, though conditions will be different (in the subcontinent)," the India skipper said.
India were reeling at 119 for eight in the fifth ODI against South Africa when Robin Petersen dismissed Piyush Chawla but staged a dramatic recovery through Yusuf Pathan''s belligerent century and his 100-run partnership with Zaheer Khan.
"Any target is small if he gets going," Dhoni said of the marauder. He also thanked the crowd in South Africa for turning up in large numbers.
"It's been spectacular. They come out to support good cricket," Dhoni said.
Dhoni''s counterpart, Graeme Smith felt his bowlers bowled aggressively but admitted that Yusuf's innings gave him a scare.
"We played a good game. We bowled really aggressively in the first part but Yusuf then middled a few and almost took it away but we held on. We learnt some important lessons," Smith said.
"We weren''t as aggressive as we wanted to be when Yusuf and Zaheer were going, but otherwise we were pretty good."
Asked about the World Cup, he said, "We have got a good attacking mindset and have a really good chance to win the World Cup. We want to go in a with a mindset that we have the capabilities to win the tournament."
About the interruption, Smith said, "The rain came at a funny time for us."
Smith was happy to have played his last match as the ODI skipper on South African soil at the SuperSport Park here.
"It's a beautiful ground, terrific to sign off with the series," he said.
The victorious skipper also praised the Indian team, especially Dhoni, and thanked the crowd. "Congratulations to MS and the Indian team," Smith said.
'Man of the Match' Hashim Amla felt the pitch was a bit difficult to bat on initially.
"The wicket was a bit challenging upfront but then Morne and I got together.
"Glad that I contributed handsomely in winning the game, in an extremely tight series," Amla said.
Morne Morkel, who picked up 12 wickets, was declared the 'Man of the Series.'
"I was always aggressive, Today I missed my areas here and there but I am happy.
"Things came together for me in Durban and since then, the rhythm has been great," Morkel said. "Special thanks to the Centurion crowd."
Asked about Yusuf's assault, Morkel was reminded of another Yusuf special a while ago in Mumbai. "I remember the innings he played in Mumbai," he said.