A couple of days after failing to defend a big total of 211 against South Africa in the first T20I, the Indian bowlers could not come up with anything special in the second T20I in Cuttack on Sunday. They failed to defend a total of 148 as India slumped to their second straight loss to trail 0-2 in the five-match series. Apart from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who returned with figures 4-0-13-4, other Indian bowlers could not take regular wickets. Senior players like Yuzvendra Chahal, Hardik Pandya and Axar Patel were costly too.
The Indian bowling performance did not impress former India captain Sunil Gavaskar at all.
“The major problem is the fact that they don’t have wicket-taking bowlers in this squad apart from Bhuvneshwar Kumar. So, you take wickets and then you get the opposition under pressure. So, in both the matches, did anybody look like getting a wicket apart from Bhuvneshwar Kumar? He was getting the ball to move. That is the issue which is the reason why a total of 211 was something that they could not defend,” Sunil Gavaskar said on Star Sports after the match.
In the match, Comeback man Heinrich Klaasen followed Rassie Van der Dussen’s suit in turning out to be an unlikely hero with a career-best 81 as South Africa once again outwitted India by four wickets on Sunday.
On a two-paced track where most of the batters struggled, Klaasen made it look ridiculously easy as he smashed seven fours and five towering sixes in his 46-ball knock to hep his team knock off a target of 149 with 10 balls to spare.
The wicketkeeper-batter, who was included into the side as a forced change for injured Quinton de Kock, completed his fourth T20I fifty in 32 balls before he smashed three sixes off Yuzvendra Chahal to virtually seal the chase.
But it was not enough as they just needed three runs from the last two overs and the in-form David Miller (20 not out) completed the win to give the Proteas a commanding 2-0 lead going into the Vizag T20I on June 14.
The visitors seek their first ever bilateral T20 series win in India.
Making a comeback after more than seven months, Klaasen never took his foot off the pedal and got his team out of the woods after Bhuvneshwar pegged them back to 29/3 inside the powerplay overs.
Klaasen first shared a match-turning 64 run partnership from 41 balls with skipper Temba Bavuma (35) before in-form David Miller joined him in the middle.
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