Sourav Ganguly has stated that bowling with the wet ball didn’t help the cause of Indian bowlers in the second T20I against South Africa at SuperSport Park, Centurion on Wednesday (February 21).
Having won the first Twenty-20 international in Johannesburg, Team India missed the chance to seal the series in Centurion. South Africa’s wicketkeeper-batsman Heinrich Klaasen (30-ball 69) and skipper JP Duminy (40-ball 64) put on a show to chase down the stiff target of 189 with six wickets in hand and eight balls to spare.
"I was not surprised because there was a lot of rain around. 188/4 was a big score no doubt but with all that water on the ground and that drizzle, it wasn't easy to defend. You could see the wet ball, you could see Chahal struggle with the wet ball, the seam getting wet and the South Africans capitalised. SuperSport Park is not a big ground in South Africa and South Africa batted brilliantly. The wicket did not spin and turn like it did during the Test match and One-dayers and I thought the conditions did help South Africa," Ganguly said as per the quotes in India Today.
After being put into bat by South Africa skipper JP Duminy, India lost their reliable top three for just 45 runs. While Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli became the victims of Junior Dala for 0 and 1 respectively, left-handed opener Shikhar Dhawan got dismissed by Duminy for 24.
However, the middle-order batsmen stepped up to the plate. At first, comeback man Suresh Raina (30 off 24 balls) added a 45-run stand for the fourth wicket with Manish Pandey, who finished with a special innings of 48-ball 79*.
Raina got trapped in front by Phehlukwayo in the 11th over which brought Dhoni to the crease. The 36-year-old Dhoni (52* off 28 balls) then put on an unbeaten 98-run partnership with Pandey as India finished on 188 in their quota of 20 overs.
Ganguly admitted that India's total was big enough but with the surface getting wet and tougher, it was not easy for the bowlers to grip the ball.
"The conditions were very difficult and it wasn't easy for the spinners or the fast bowlers to come back and bowl in this surface. I think they (India) had the runs on board, South Africa played better than they did (in Johannesburg) and I think the conditions were in favour of South Africa," Dada said.
Ganguly believes the outcome of Centurion T20I has spiced up the series and the decider in Cape Town on Saturday (February 24) should be a cracker.
"Yes but that's bound to happen, isn't it. At some stage you will be under pressure to win the series, it won't be like the one-day series where it was just one-sided. It's good that the series has gone to Cape Town. It is a beautiful venue, it's going to be another cracker in the night and India is capable of winning,” asserted Ganguly.
“I thought South Africa deserved to win today and they put pressure on India and as they did a little bit in the last game in Wanderers but I thought 204 was a bigger score and they still managed to get 175-176. So yes it's game on in Cape Town but at the same time, India is capable of winning," he elaborated.
The Prince of Kolkata concluded by saying that he would like to see the wrist spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal bowl together in the series-decider T20I. With 33 wickets between them, Kuldeep and Chahal were instrumental in India’s 5-1 ODI series over the Proteas.
"Hopefully we'll have Kuldeep back and KulCha (Kuldeep and Chahal) can bowl together. They are a bit happy together when they are bowling and Cha gets a bid sad when Kul gets divorced from him. So, may be that could be an option if Kuldeep is fit in the final game in Cape Town," Ganguly signed-off.