There were many positives for the Indian cricket team in the recently concluded T20I series against South Africa, as were the negatives. While KL Rahul was ruled out on the eve of the series, the match saw the emergence of a new captain in Rishabh Pant. The young Indian squad initially struggled to find a solid foundation but gradually recovered to equalize the series 2-2. While rain forced the fifth game to be suspended as the series was shared between the two teams, there was much to look forward to for the hosts. Here we take a look at the hits and misses for Team India in the series.
Matches – 5, runs – 206
The left-handed power-hitter aims to be the third backup opener as seniors like Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul return to the T20I side. Statistically, he did himself a world of good, as he finished as the top scorer in the five-game match. However, of his 200-plus runs, 76 came in the first game.
Matches – 5, runs – 96
This was a golden opportunity for the right-handed opener to make his case in the absence of seniors. He wasted the opportunity on a grand scale. It wasn’t until the third T20I, where the Chennai Super Kings player scored 57 from 35 balls, that he showed his talent.
Matches – 5, runs – 94
Again much was expected of him in the absence of Suryakumar Yadav. He had plenty of chances in the number 3 slot, but other than a 36 in the first T20I and a 40 in the second T20I, his contribution was barely noticeable. India lost both matches. It remains to be seen if team management will continue to give him a long rope in the number 3 or number 4 positions once SKY returns.
Matches – 5, runs – 58
As India captain, he oversaw India’s brilliant comeback after losing the first two matches. But as a batter, he had no idea. He fell into the offside trap constantly and it has left former players like Wasim Jaffer doubting his place in the T20I XI going forward.
Matches – 5, Runs – 117, Wickets – 0
He was expensive with the ball (economy of 12.20), but with the bat he was responsible the whole time. Continuing his stellar form in the IPL 2022 for Gujarat Titans, he went unbeaten in the first and third T20I and scored an identical 31*. In the fourth T20I, which India won to tie the series, he scored 46 from 31 balls at number 5.
Matches – 5, runs – 92
The veteran confirmed his status as one of the top Indian finishers in T20Is in recent times. In the second T20I, he scored a 21-ball 30* to bring India to a respectable total. Then in the fourth T20I, 37-year-old Karthik scored his first 55, hitting number 6. That feat has led pundits like Sunil Gavaskar to say they would be surprised if Indian team management didn’t select him for the 2022 T20 World Cup. .
Matches – 5, Wickets – 3
The left-hand spinner didn’t make much of an impression. He was also not economical (8.25 RPO). When Ravindra Jadeja comes back, it will be difficult for him to keep his place in the squad.
Matches – 5, Wickets – 6
He was India’s top spinner in the series. Although he gave away 1/49 in the second T20I, he was great in the other matches. He had an overall strike rate of 14.1 and an economy of 8.18 RPO.
Matches – 5, Wickets – 7
He was the highest wicket-taker in the series. He again proved his worth in the shortest format. He has his limitations, but he can benefit a lot from them. The 31-year-old’s best result came in the third T20I, where he was 4/25. He had a strike rate of 10.4.
Matches – 5, Wickets – 6
The veteran generated a great swing and was brilliant the whole time. He had the best economy among Indian bowlers – 6:07 RPO. When other bowlers were expensive, he took 4/13 in the second T20I.
Matches – 5, Wickets – 4
After struggling in the first few games, Khan played in the fourth T20I on 4/18. So he showed the reason he was a long term.