India might have come a cropper in the just-concluded ODI series against South Africa but pacer Ishant Sharma said there are some positives to be gained from the 0-2 drubbing and the visitors would try to utilise them in the upcoming two Tests.
India were outplayed in the first two ODIs before the third and final match was called off midway yesterday. Ishant, who returned to some form with figures of 4/40 in the abandoned game, said things are not as bad as they seem.
"Everyone is an international player in both the teams and it's all in the mind. If you can control your thought process, and you are confident in your mind and you know what you have to do, then I don't think it is such a big loss," the pacer said in the post-match press conference.
"We lost the series yes, but we have some positives to take from it as well. And we will be utilising them in the Test series," he added.
In the course of his 4/40 yesterday, Ishant collected his 100th wicket in 70 matches when he dismissed Ryan McLaren.
"Initially there was bounce in the wicket and then it got a bit slow," he said, talking about the Proteas' innings that finished at 301 for 8.
"We need to use the variations on these kind of wickets because the pitch was a bit dry. The wind blows from different directions and the captain tends to rotate his bowlers. Each of us is a different bowler and we are given a chance to perform, which is a good thing."
Rain came during the innings break and India never got a chance to bat. It was a huge opportunity missed, at least on paper, as the visitors are yet to make a mark on this tour.
In three matches, Quinton de Kock was the biggest thorn in the Men in Blue's flesh. He struck three successive centuries to leave the bowling attack gasping for breath.
"It's good for him that he got runs. But I think he was very lucky, especially today," opined Ishant.
"In all three matches, he has given top edges which have gone through gaps, half chances all of them. And today he was dropped twice."
"Everyone looks at how many matches we have played, but if you can see the average age, we are young in that respect as a bowling unit. Everyone is learning. We make mistakes, and we learn, trying to keep things simple. It becomes easier then," he added, talking about the improvement in the team's bowling performance as the series progressed.