The Rishabh Pant-led Indian cricket team faces a must-win situation against South Africa going into the third T20I in Vizag on Tuesday, after losing the first two games of the five-match series. After failing to defend 211 in the first T20I, the Indian bowlers again could not deliver while defending a modest total of 148 in the second T20I on Sunday. The Indian team management must be fully aware that they can’t afford any more slip-ups against the Proteas. Several youngsters like Umran Malik and Arshdeep Singh are waiting for a chance, and India great Zaheer Khan gave his take on the former’ chances of inclusion.

“Extra pace can be handy. That is something that I feel, we have seen in IPL as well. You have seen Umran get (David) Miller out as well on one occasion with the ball coming around the wicket, bowling really fast. So, that’s something that can be a good match-up. With (Heinrich) Klaasen as well, the way he was batting if you get that extra pace, the x-factor. He can go for runs as well, but you need to have that x-factor. Something different which will maybe have that impact. So, I think the inclination will be towards Umran for the next match,” Zaheer Khan said in a discussion on Cricbuzz.

Umran finished as the fourth-highest wicket-taker in the IPL 2022 with 22 scalps in 14 matches. He was also one of the fastest bowlers in the franchise league.

Earlier, in the second T20I on Sunday, 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 a tricky pitch to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match T20I series.

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 help his team knock off a target of 149 with 10 balls to spare.

The wicketkeeper-batter, who was included in 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.

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Looking to finish it off with a six, he fell victim to Harshal Patel, and in the very next over, Bhuvneshwar Kumar dismissed Wayne Parnell to finish with a superb 4-0-13-4.

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.

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