T20 series was the first part of the South Africa’s 3 month long tour to India and they have started their trips by winning the series 2-0. Talk about acclimatization and the guests surprisingly appeared more at ease with the conditions as compared to the hosts.
T20: First match
First T20 match played at DHARAMSALA was a cliff hanger with India going as favorites. Well they were the finalist of the T20 world championship and expected by the local audiences to win the first match comfortably however all bets placed on India came to a naught as the team lost the match in spite of scoring 199 runs in the stipulated 20 over.
With the inclusion of the spinner TAHIR in squad, the South Africans were destined to offer tough challenge to India. It was evident in the match when Dhawan lost his wicket early and was never able to get big score. As far as the form of Dhoni is concerned, the captain cool never got it going as he was able to notch up only 20 and 5 runs respectively. Another factor for the poor performance of India was the run out mix up with culprit being DHAWAN, ROHIT and KOHLI. In the first match India lost the toss and had to bat first. While bowling second the team faced the disadvantage of too much dew and the pacers faced a hard time gripping the ball. Runs came thick and fast with DUMINY striking 68 off 34 balls and taking the South Africans over the finish line with 7 wickets to spare. He was particularly ruthless against AXAR PATEL by hitting array of sixes in his last over. Prior to the blitzkrieg by DUMINY, India scored 199 with the help of an impressive knock of 106 by ROHIT SHARMA. Among the Indian bowlers only ASHWIN was impressive by removing the danger man AB DEVILLIERS.
T20 second Match:
The next match played at Barabati Stadium proved to be a tame affair as the hosts capitulated without a fight. In spite of the pitch lacking any devil, the performance of some of the star batsmen was below par. For instance, SHIKHAR DHAWAN faced consistent trouble to the ball that was pitched up by the South African pacers. Sustained and hostile pace bowling did the Indian team and the innings folded at 92 in 17 over. Spectators showed their displeasure by throwing bottles on the ground prior to the start of the South African chase. HARBHAJAN SINGH was replaced by the spinner SRINATH ARVIND to bolster the bowling line up. Since the runs were hard to come by ROHIT and VIRAT lots their wickets to run out for 22 and 1 run respectively. RAYADU brought in place of RAHANE couldn’t do much as he was out without troubling the scorer on a fabulous delivery from RABADA. ALBIE MORKEL also joined the fun when she scrapped DHONI and the tail at an impressive figure of 3/12.
When the south African innings started, ASHWIN again struck by removing AMLA for 2 and AB DEVILLIERS for 17 of 32 balls. India sensed the door open when South Africa was reeling under 49/3 however DUMINY again came to the rescue and Guests achieved the required target in the 15th over with 6 wickets to go. In short it was a lack luster match with a timid performance of the Indian team.
T20: Third match Calcutta
The T20 third match at KOLKATA at Eden gardens was cancelled due to heavy down pour. Guess India has to wait for the one day series to avenge the loss in T20 matches.