And two young Indian pacesetters didn’t complain. Arshdeep Singh and Deepak Chahar, replace Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the playing XI and Jasper Bumrahproved they can be just as good if not better than their senior pros with a brilliant exhibition of swing bowling to set up India’s eight-wicket win over the Proteas on Wednesday night.
SCORE CARD | AS IT HAPPENED
Due to the ‘English’ circumstances, South Africa lost half of the squad before the team total reached double digits. The visitors couldn’t recover from that miserable start and finished with 106 for eight in 20 overs.
The Indian batters didn’t have it easy in their pursuit as long as Kagiso Rabada was in operation. He sent skipper Rohit Sharma off because of a duck for harassing the batters with his pace and movement. When Anrich Nortje charged for Virat Kohli, some jitters were felt. However, KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav took the time to exhaust the South African bowlers and blasted the paltry goal with an unbroken partnership of 93 to take India home.
The two batsmen helped themselves to half a century when India kissed home in 16.4 overs. Rahul made an unbeaten 51 (56 balls, 2×4, 4×6) while the red-hot Yadav hit 50 (33 balls, 5×4, 3×6). Earlier, Chahar, who is one of India’s standbys for the World T20, caught South African skipper Temba Bavuma with a ball that came in sharp to start the slide into the last ball of the first over.
Arshdeep Singh, who has built a reputation for his brilliant bowling in the end overs, showed he can be just as good with the new ball in favorable conditions, claiming three wickets in his first over. First he had Quinton de Kock play on his stumps.
From the fifth ball he gave Rilee Rossouw a lead, which was cheerfully accepted by Rishabh Pant before the Punjab pacer showed he can move it the other way by reeling it in and casting David Miller with his next delivery. The youngster Tristan Stubbs then hit a short and wide delivery from Deepak Chahar at the hands of Arshdeep Singh at widish third man, reducing the visitors to 9 for five in 2.3 overs, making it their worst start in T20 cricket.
Rohit Sharma decided to bowl both Chahar and Arshdeep right through the power play overs and they had figures of 15-2 and 15-3.
Markram tried to counter the rot by trying to control the swing by hitting outside the fold. He stroked three nicely timed fours and a six from Harshal Patel. His tendency to defect too much, however, caused his downfall when Patel pinned him up front for a 24-ball 25.
Wayne Parnell, who had smoked a six to Chahar earlier in the innings, tamed his natural instincts after Markram’s dismissal and played a girl off against Ravichandran Ashwin. Ashwin took advantage of Proteas’ defensive approach and cast a miserly spell of 4-1-8-0 in the middle overs. When Parnell finally decided to come out of his shell, he held on to Yadav in the depths of Axar Patel for 24 hours.
Keshav Maharaj crushed Arshdeep for a six and two fours in his final to spoil the Indian pacesetter’s numbers and take South Africa past the 100 run. Without Maharaj’s cameo (41 from 35 balls), the South African score would have made for even more bleak reading.
BUMRAH MISSING OUT DUE TO BACK PAIN
India has made four changes to their roster from the previous match they played against Australia in the first T20 against South Africa. But the one that might worry India is that Jasprit Bumrah is missing something again. Skipper Rohit Sharma said Bumrah is out with a “little problem he got in the morning”, and the move to put him on the bench appears to be a precautionary measure.