IND vs SA: Rishabh Pant’s India captaincy stint got off to a losing start as the Men In Blue went down to South Africa in Delhi, failing to defend 211 runs and conceded an early trail in the five-match series.
Here are the 5 mistakes which cost India the game:
Bowling Chahal and Pandya in the powerplay
After 3 overs in the chase, South Africa were 26/1 and had just lost skipper Temba Bavuma to Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Instead of looking to pile on the pressure and apply the squeeze further with Avesh – who even though had conceded 15 in his first over – or the ever economical Axar Patel, Pant opted to bowl Yuzvendra Chahal and Hardik Pandya.
Chahal was clobbered for 16 and Pandya for 18 by de Kock and Pretorius. Both Chahal and Pandya bowl well with the field spreaded out after the powerplay. And it was even more surprising that Pant didn’t use Axar in the powerplay.
Not bowling Chahal’s quota of overs
India were still ahead in the game when South Africa were 92/3 after 11 overs. And Chahal – who had came back strongly in his second over giving away just 6 runs after an expensive first over – shockingly didn’t bowl until the last over of the chase, when the game was effectively lost.
Chahal was the Purple Cap holder in the IPL 2022 and was the go-to bowler for Sanju Samson at RR during the second half of the innings, and more often than delivered with either a wicket or tightened the pressure more. However, Pant just didn’t show enough faith in the experienced leg-spinner with little signs of dew either.
Drop catch by Shreyas Iyer of van der Dussen
Unlike Miller and most of the other batters in the game, Rassie van der Dussen found it hard to get the boundaries for the first two-thirds of his innings; he either didn’t time the ball well or the ones he did went to the fielders.
He was on 29 off 30 balls when he hit Avesh Khan straight to deep mid-wicket where Shreyas Iyer, usually a safe fielder, dropped the catch, and that was the turning point of his knock, as he smashed 45 off the next 15 balls.
“When Shreyas dropped it, I knew I had to make them pay because I took the balls to get myself in,” van der Dussen admitted.
Poor death bowling
Indian bowlers were hammered for 120 runs in 49 balls as Miller and van der Dussen turned the chase around on its head. Yes, as both captains testified, the pitch had eased down and got better for batting in the second innings, and it was a small ground.
However, Indian seamers didn’t really help themselves with some ordinary bowling as well. None of the pacers – Bhuvneshwar, Harshal, Pandya and Avesh – hardly bowled pacy yorkers outside off stump.
They bowling length, hard length and slot deliveries, with changes in pace that were picked by the Protea batters and were deposited over the boundary line. Even Harshal and Bhuvneshwar were off his mark today in the death, feeding some poor full tosses and in the arc deliveries which were effortlessly tonked over the fence.