There were many positives for the Indian cricket team in the recently-concluded T20I series against South Africa, as were the negatives. While KL Rahul was ruled out on the eve of the series, the contest saw the emergence of a new captain in Rishabh Pant. The young Indian side initially struggled to find a solid footing but gradually recovered to level the series 2-2. Though rain forced the fifth match to be abandoned as the series was shared by the two teams, there was lot to look forward to for the hosts. Here we take a look at the hits and misses for Team India in the series.
Matches – 5, Runs – 206
The left-handed power-hitter is striving to be the third back-up opener when seniors like Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul return to the T20I side. Statistically, he did himself a world of good as he finished as the top-scorer in the five-match contest. However, out of his 200-plus runs 76 came in the first game.
Matches – 5, Runs – 96
This was one golden opportunity for the right-handed opener to push his case in the absence of seniors. He squandered the opportunity big-time. Only in the third T20I, where the Chennai Super Kings player scored 57 off 35 balls, he did justice to his talent.
Matches – 5, Runs – 94
Again, a lot of was expected of him in the absence of Suryakumar Yadav. He got enough opportunities at the No. 3 slot but barring a 36 in the first T20I and a 40 in the second T20I, his contribution was barely noticeable. India lost both the matches. It remains to be seen if the team management continues to give him a long rope at the No. 3 or No. 4 positions once SKY returns.
Matches – 5, Runs – 58
As the India captain he oversaw India’s brilliant comeback after losing the first two games. But as a batter, he was bereft of ideas. He constantly fell to the off-side trap and it led to former players like Wasim Jaffer doubting his place in the T20I XI going forward.
Matches – 5, Runs – 117, Wickets – 0
He was expensive with the ball (economy of 12.20) but with the bat he was responsible throughout. Continuing with his great form in the IPL 2022 for Gujarat Titans, he stayed unbeaten in the first and third T20I, scoring identical 31*. In the fourth T20I, that India won to level the series, he scored 46 off 31 balls at No. 5.
Matches – 5, Runs – 92
The veteran re-affirmed his status as one of the best Indian finishers in T20Is in recent times. In the second T20I, he scored a 21-ball 30* to take India to a respectable total. Then in the fourth T20I, batting at No. 6, the 37-year-old Karthik scored his maiden 55. That performance has led experts like Sunil Gavaskar to say that they would be surprised if India team management doesn’t select him for the 2022 T20 World Cup.
Matches – 5, Wickets – 3
The left-arm spinner did not impress much. He was not economical too (8.25 RPO). When Ravindra Jadeja comes back, it will be difficult for him to keep his place in the squad.
Matches – 5, Wickets – 6
He was India’s best spinner in the series. Though he gave away 1/49 in the second T20I, he was great in the other matches. He had an overall strike-rate of 14.1 and an economy of 8.18 RPO.
Matches – 5, Wickets – 7
He was the highest wicket-taker in the series. He once again proved his worth in the shortest format. He has his limitations but he can use it to great benefit. The 31-year-old’s best display came in the third T20I where he took 4/25. He had a strike-rate of 10.4.
Matches – 5, Wickets – 6
The veteran generated prodigious swing and was brilliant throughout. He had the best economy among Indian bowlers – 6:07 RPO. When other bowlers were expensive, he took 4/13 in the second T20I.
Matches – 5, Wickets – 4
After struggling in the first few matches, Khan starred in the fourth T20I taken 4/18. He thus showed the reason he was being a long run.
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