In Bangalore, on Chinnaswamy Stadium’s abrasive ground it was the 3rd T20 India vs South Africa, where several batsmen of India struggle to find balance with the crease, South Africa’s Quinton de Kock struck a staggering 79* during the 3rd T20I low-scoring game that steered South Africa to its victory.
Virat Kohli, the Indian captain, had elected to bat after the team won the toss. It turned out to be the wrong choice as the hosts faced challenges from the beginning. Beuran Hendricks scored first for the visitors as Rohit Sharma failed to keep up with the length delivery.
Shikhar Dhawan faced Tabraiz Shamsi in the next bowling attacks, scoring two sixes and leading India towards its strengths. However, it was Shamsi who got the last laugh when a wild slog from Dhawan landed into the outstretched hands of Temba Bavuma, who had moved back for more cover to catch the ball.
Attempting to reinforce the strategies, skipper Kohli lost cheaply against Kagiso Rabada, keeping the score at a vulnerable 68/3. With consecutive dismissals, the pressure shifted towards the team’s young players, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant, to try and reverse dynamics by achieving a stronger score. Unfortunately the game India vs South Africa, for India, South Africa’s invincible bowling did not lose its touch for a second.
Pant failed to nullify the doubts around him by ruining a great opportunity, sending a strike towards Andile Phehlukwayo at the long-off side. Bjorn Fortuin, the left-arm spinner, had Iyer dismissed as India stood weakly at its 92/5.
Krunal Pandya went on to feather one towards the keeper off Hendricks, who had ended his spell in 2 for 14. Shouldering the burden to offer delayed rescue, Hardik Pandya, appeared rough in the middle and Ravindra Jadeja marked his truly impactful cameo.
India found itself limited to 134/9, succeeding to make just 80 runs after their powerplay, seeing that the lower-middle order could not summon huge hits while batting on a worsening pitch.
With a modest target to chase, the opening duo of the Proteas seemed uncertain next to Deepak Chahar’s movement through the new ball. Washington Sundar worked well on the other side, trapping the batsmen accurately. Unfortunately, Navdeep Saini’s raw pace unleashed the flood as de Kock hit the quick nonchalantly to secure a few boundaries with superior disdain while breaking the shackles.
The game’s turning point had come when Chahar asked to review an LBW shout for Reeza Hendricks, but the original decision stayed. This failed review made its impact during the next over as we saw de Kock trapped in front by Washington Sundar. Nitin Menon, the umpire, rejected the appeal, and TV replays confirmed later on that it would end up in three reds.
Hardik found his breakthrough finally when Reeza Hendricks attempted a top edge, which got caught easily as Kohli tumbled inches within the ground. De Kock had dispatched Hardik in the empty square-leg space, securing his half-century against only 38 balls. Temba Bavuma, on the other end, hit the crease and managed to achieve victory for the Proteas without losing more wickets.