India and South Africa locked horns in the first T20I of the five-match series, played at Delhi’s Arun Jaitley Stadium. Proteas skipper Temba Bavuma elected to field after winning the toss. Batting first, the Indian team got a good start of 57 runs from the opening pair of Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad. Eventually, India finished their innings posting a decent total of 211 runs in the 20 overs.
While chasing the target, visitors didn’t feel any trouble. Thanks to the batting heroics of senior batter David Miller and Rassie Van Der Dussen who built an unbeaten partnership of 131 runs for the fourth wicket and led the team to register the victory in the opener of the five-match T20I series. From KL Rahul’s absence to a few errors in the captaincy from Pant, here, we’ll have a look at the three reasons why India lost the first T20I against South Africa.
Here’s a look at 3 reasons for India’s defeat in the first T20I against South Africa:
1. Bowling Line-up
Indian bowling couldn’t deliver up to the expectations in the first T20I against the visitors. Senior pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar conceded 43 runs in his quota of 4 overs with an expensive economy rate of 10.75 claiming only one wicket to his name. Apart from Bhuvi, other bowlers of the line-up were also disappointing as all bowlers conceded runs with an economy rate of more than 8 runs per over.
Highest wicket taker of Indian T20 League 2022, Yuzvendra Chahal has also had an off day with figures of 26 runs in 2.1 overs at an economy rate of 12.00 and went wicketless. The other two pacers Harshal Patel and Avesh Khan also conceded 43 and 35 runs respectively in their complete quota of four overs. Harshal could scalp only one wicket.
So, bowling is the department for India which need a lot of improvement ahead of the next match. Skipper Pant may come up with a few changes in the playing XI of the next game.
2. Too late to bat for Karthik
Dinesh Karthik, the finisher who ended the IPL 2022 with the best strike rate in the tournament, didn’t have an expected return to international cricket. He got the chance to bat very low in the batting order when almost even the middle-order was done with the batting.
Considering his current form, you can’t expect him to deliver his best so low in the order, when there is nothing much left to do. In the first T20I against South Africa, Karthik got to play only two balls in the last over of the inning and he could score only one run in these two deliveries.
If the team management and skipper Pant really want to use the complete potential of the 36-year-old wicketkeeper-batter then they should try to send him up in the batting order.
3. Absence of KL Rahul
India rested the majority of their big names like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Jasprit Bumrah for the South Africa series. In absence of their regular captain, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul was appointed as the skipper of the Indian team. But unfortunately KL had to withdraw his name from the series owing to injury issues.
Team management finally decided to hand over the captaincy to the 24-year-old Rishabh Pant ahead of the first T20I. Absences of KL Rahul was definitely a reason for which India ended on the wrong side of the affairs in the match.