IND v SA 2022: Keshav Maharaj says South Africa needs to find ways to counter new ball after loss in 1st T20I

Keshav Maharaj top-scored with 41 for SA, pushing them to 106/8 in 20 overs.

Keshav Maharaj made 41 in South Africa's innings of 106/8 | BCCI

Keshav Maharaj stressed that South Africa doesn’t need to think much about their 8-wicket defeat in the first T20I against India on September 25, but admitted that the team needs to re-assess how to counter the new ball.

Notably, Indian bowlers wreaked havoc on the Proteas batting line-up with the new ball in Trivandrum, as Proteas were reduced to 9/5 in 2.3 overs. It was Maharaj, who was the top-scorer for South Africa with a 35-ball 41, who saved face for his team taking them to 106/8.

Arshdeep Singh (3/32), Deepak Chahar (2/24) and Harshal Patel (2/26) shone with the ball for India.

Defending a paltry 106, South African bowlers started really well, but KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav’s unbeaten fifties were enough to take Team India over the line in the 17th over with 8 wickets in hand.

Read Also: IND v SA 2022: “Loved the wicket of David Miller” - Arshdeep Singh after match-winning performance in 1st T20I

Keshav Maharaj said at the post-match press conference: “I don't think it's a chapter we need to dwell too much on. However, we do need to chat about how we started. The application we saw upfront, we need to re-assess that and find ways to combat the swing.”

The left-arm spinner continued, “The ball did swing prodigiously in the first couple of overs. Something that we need to address is the new ball, the way we are playing it, there is a lot of swing in it. So maybe just adjust our plan and mindset and take it from there.

We didn't expect the ball to swing so prodigiously. It wasn't an easy wicket to bat on, it was two paced, and the oddballs skidded through, a lot of tennis ball bounce at various points. I don't think we want to dwell too much on what has transpired, but it is something that we can address going forward and hopefully we can rectify that.”

Meanwhile, Maharaj admitted that India put South Africa under extreme pressure and that they failed to recover from that point. He also hailed Proteas bowlers' efforts while defending the paltry 106.

Read Also: IND v SA 2022: “Unbelievable for Surya to come out there and play those shots”- KL Rahul on Suryakumar’s heroics in 1st T20I

The 32-year-old said, “When you are put under pressure it is difficult to come back but the boys showed a little bit of fight and character. The character that we showed coming back from 29/5 and get 106 and still sort of make a game of it, we can take a lot of positives from that.”

Hailing the South Africa bowlers, Maharaj noted: “The seam bowlers did extremely well in the Powerplay -- KG (Kagiso Rabada) and Wayne (Parnell), got the wickets, didn't give away much. I don't think it became easier to bat but the small moments could have gone our way.”

He signed off by saying, “When Surya (Kumar Yadav) came to bat the top edge went of hand it could have been a different situation. But full credit to the Indian batting unit KL (Rahul) and Surya batted extremely well.”

(With PTI Inputs)


By Rashmi Nanda - 29 Sep, 2022

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