Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has high hopes from the wrist spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in the second T20I against South Africa. Gavaskar reckons that the wicket at SuperSport Park, Centurion will assist the spinners and Chahal could play an instrumental role to seal the Twenty-20 international series for India.
Owing to Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s career-best 5 for 24, India registered an emphatic 28-run victory in the first T20I at Wanderers. In contrast to his awe-inspiring show in the recently concluded six-match ODI series, Chahal couldn't do much in Johannesburg ODI as he claimed only one wicket by conceding 39 runs.
“The Centurion pitch will help the spinners a little more as was seen in the last one-day game last week, so Chahal will be a key bowler again in the middle overs. Virat Kohli had left the field with a niggle so hopefully he will be fully fit to pile on the misery once again for South Africans,” Gavaskar wrote in his column for TOI.
“Chasing over 10 runs an over is a Herculean task for any team but was made even more mountainous by the tight opening spell from Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah. Though Hendricks and Behardien had a good partnership they didn't have the finishing power and India won with plenty to spare,” he further wrote.
During the course of the ODI series that the Men in Blue won by a stunning margin of 5-1, South African batters have been found out against India’s wrist spinners, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. The spin twins claimed 33 wickets out of the 64 Proteas wickets that had fallen in the 6 ODIs. Moreover, the fast bowlers also did their job to perfection.
In the first T20I, South Africa won the toss and elected to bowl first. Owing to Shikhar Dhawan’s 39-ball 72 and a couple cameos from other batsmen India posted a stiff target of 204 for the Proteas.
In reply, South African batsmen never looked at ease as they lost wickets at regular interval. Opening batsman Reeza Hendricks was the stand out batsman for the home team as he made a 50-ball 70, including 8 boundaries and a six. Owing to Bhuvneshwar’s herculean effort, South Africa could manage 175 for 9 in their quota of 20 overs.
“The Indian team continues to exert its dominance over the harried South Africans and their power-packed display in the first T20 game will have made the Proteas scratch their heads even more trying to figure out how to stop this rampaging team,” Gavaskar penned.
“Having an inexperienced new ball attack didn't help as the Proteas didn't know what hit them as Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan got the team off to a flying start. Virat Kohli then showed he can play the aerial shots as well clobber the ball into the stands. It was breathtaking stuff and it was little wonder to see the usually brilliant Proteas fielding unit dropping catches, fumbling with the ball and giving away extra runs,” he concluded.
The second T20I will be played at SuperSport Park, Centurion on Wednesday (February 21).