The Indian team management needs to have “some tough conversations” within themselves ahead of the must-win third T20I versus South Africa, said Zaheer Khan. India’s dominating home record is under threat as they have lost the first two matches of the 5-T20I series against Temba Bavuma’s side.
Then in Cuttack, it was the class, power, and elite timing of Heinrich Klaasen – who smacked 81 off 46 balls – that made the chase of 149 looked fairly comfortable, despite Bhuvneshwar Kumar wreaking havoc in the powerplay with three wickets.
Zaheer Khan’s Advice For Rahul Dravid
Head coach Rahul Dravid and the management should quickly “identify what it is going to take for them to fight” for the course of the entire game, is Zaheer Khan’s suggestion.
“When the (Klaasen-Bavuma) partnership was building, you could feel that the drive in the India team was going down. It was evident on the field,” Zaheer Khan said while speaking with Cricbuzz.
“Those are the things Rahul Dravid and Co. need to address and do it quickly because there is only one day in between (before the 3rd T20I). They need to regroup, have some tough conversations and identify what it is going to take for them to fight for 40 overs.”
Zaheer Khan pointed out that India had an upper hand in both matches – even while defending 148, they seemed ahead when Bhuvneshwar took three wickets in the powerplay – but then the bowlers lost the plot and failed to capitalize on the early pressure.
“Even in the first match, you thought India were in the driver’s seat. Today again, they had the ideal start with the ball. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was outstanding, but they have not been able to close out games. Some concerns for India going forward in the series and a lot of pressure,” the 2011 World Cup winner asserted.
The teams travel to Visakhapatnam for the third match of the five-game series where South Africa will aim to seal the series while India will look to fight back and remain alive.