Even though India’s bowlers had set a formidable target of 212 runs, which was their 12th 200-plus total in a Twenty20 International inning, South Africa was able to chase down the total with five balls remaining thanks to an unbeaten 131-run stand between David Miller and Rassie van der Dussen. This was India’s 12th 200-plus total in a T20I inning. The astounding victory by seven wickets, which featured South Africa posting their biggest successful chase in T20I cricket, allowed the visitors to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series and put a stop to India’s winning streak by 12 runs, and gave them a better overall record. Despite the defeat suffered by the Men in Blue, Sunil Gavaskar, a former captain of India, saw two significant bright spots.
One of India’s primary concerns going into the game was that their powerplay didn’t show enough purpose. But India got off to a flying start on Thursday, hitting 51 runs with no wickets lost. The new opening duo of Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad smashed six fours and two sixes in their first innings together. Even though India lost Gaikwad in the seventh over for 23, Ishan kept the momentum going till the end, when he finished with 76 runs off of 48 balls.
After the game, Gavaskar gave an interview to Star Sports in which he heaped accolades on Ishan for his determination with the bat.
Sunil Gavaskar heaps praise on Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya
“He did not get off to a good start. There were many outside edges, and he was playing down the incorrect line. Yet, he continued to play. In addition, when the ball is very hard, it might be difficult to move the ball away from the centre of the bat. But once he calmed down and went for those 70 odd runs, he accomplished it in a short amount of time,” Gavaskar claimed.
“Also going down the order, Hardik Pandya is hammering the ball all over the place. When it comes to the Indian squad, these are truly two significant choices that they made. The fact that Hardik bowled was also a positive indicator. You can’t expect him to come into his first over in international cricket after a long period and do everything perfectly just because he is there. Yes, he gave away a lot of runs in the one over he bowled.
There is no question in anyone’s mind that if he can maintain this shape, he will always be able to close off the match for India when they are chasing a total. The shot that he played, a flat-six over far off, was spectacular and wonderful,” Gavaskar added.
On June 12th, the second Twenty20 International will take place at Cuttack.