IND v SA 2022: Ashish Nehra says he'd have picked Arshdeep Singh over Avesh Khan initially, but not now

South Africa won the first T20I match and lead the series 1-0.

Avesh Khan I BCCI

The opening game of the India-South Africa T20I series at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi on June 9 turned out to be a nail-biter, with the Proteas clinching victory with 5 balls remaining.

The Proteas needed 78 runs in the last 6 overs, which they accomplished in 5.1 overs, thanks to stellar batting performances from David Miller (64* off 31 balls) and Rassie van der Dussen (75* off 46 balls), and recorded their highest successful run-chase in T20Is.

South Africa's 212 was also the highest successful run-chase by any side against India in T20Is.

India's bowling at the death overs met with criticism for failing to stop the hosts from taking away the game despite being in a strong position until the 15th over. Former India cricketer Ashish Nehra, however, feels there is no need to make any changes to India's playing XI for the second T20I in Cuttack on Sunday.

The head coach of IPL 2022 champions Gujarat Titans said he would have preferred to pick left-arm seamer Arshdeep Singh instead of Avesh Khan. However, he added that since the Indian squad has included Khan in the playing XI, they should stick with him at least for the first three matches.

IND v SA 2022: 'Main toh chahunga SA unhe drop kar de' - Bhuvneshwar's reply to question on India's plan for Miller

Talking to Cricbuzz, Nehra said, "Arshdeep Singh would've been my first choice in place of Avesh Khan but not now. The next match is in Cuttack... you generally have high scores there too. And it's not that only your bowlers went for runs. You scored 211 too and were in the game till 10-15 overs.

Two batters, in the end, took the game away from you. Don't think there is any need for a change. Kuldeep Yadav and KL Rahul are not there. India should play three matches with the same team unless there is a drastic change in conditions. India should learn from the defeat in the first game and move to the second one without panicking much," added Nehra.

India decided to go in with Avesh, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Harshal Patel as their three main pacers in the first game, with Hardik Pandya as the fourth option. However, none of them could do much to trouble the batters of the opponent team.

It was, in fact, Avesh Khan who bowled quite well at the death overs, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Harshal Patel leaked runs. Although he could not pick up any wicket, Avesh Khan was the only Indian bowler in the opening game to maintain an economy rate under 9.

(CricBuzz inputs)


By Hritwik Chakraborty - 12 Jun, 2022

    Share Via