India look to fill gaps in third T20I against South Africa | Cricket News



VISAKHAPATNAM: The coaches must have thought resting a few key players wouldn’t make much difference to the Indian team’s prospects as the bench strength is quite good. Facing the fourth-ranked South African team that lacks “star power” was supposed to be a walk in the park, especially since most Indian players had a good outing in the recent IPL.
India lost captain KL Rahul and spinner Kuldeep Yadav on the eve of the first match, but that still didn’t warrant a rethink. The selectors quickly elevated wicket-beater keeper Rishabh Pant and made successful Gujarat Titans skipper Hardik Pandya his deputy.
At Kotla, it looked like things were going according to script as the Indians put a mammoth 212 on the board and had the South Africans struggling early on, but the visitors picked up a stunning seven-wicket win with five balls. to spare thanks to Rassie van der Dussen and David Miller. Things went from bad to worse for hosts Cuttack and they found themselves trailing 0-2 in the five game series. In both matches, the Indians had been in the game for some time.
With the series result perched on Tuesday’s game at the Dr YSR ACA-VDCA Stadium, it’s time for the Pant-led team to come up with some original thinking. With head coach Rahul Dravid in the mix, there’s no shortage of cerebral thinking, but somehow the Indians looked clueless in the first two games. They seemed to lack strategy to counter the South Africans.
There could be a few changes in perspective for Game 3 as the Indians try to close the gaps. Ruturaj Gaikwad didn’t look comfortable in either game and Shreyas Iyer failed to force the pace against the fast bowlers so it was left to Ishan Kishan to get the points on the board. In the previous match, Axar Patel was sent past Dinesh Karthik. Is Karthik only good for striking death? Wouldn’t it have been prudent to give him more time in the middle. And Deepak Hooda?
But more than the stick, it was bowling that let the team down. Even though Bhuvneshwar Kumar produced a brilliant spell in Cuttack, the Indians had no backup for him. It seems the bowlers have lost their ability to take wickets. The spinners – Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel – appeared pedestrian. Will Avesh Khan give way to Arshdeep Singh or Umar Malik? Leggie Ravi Bishnoi going to take a look?
These are some of the questions Indians will have to answer if they want to prevent the series from getting lost here. But more importantly, the will to win must outweigh the skill. This is one area where the South Africans have scored big in the series so far.
The Indians, however, can be confident that they have an excellent record at this stage. They have lost just two out of 12 international matches – an ODI against West Indies and a T20I against Australia. However, most of the wins have been won by the team at second bat and it will be a problem for Pant as Temba Bavuma who has been brilliant as captain has made the toss in both games played so far. here.
South Africans, on the other hand, have fewer worries on their plate and could just go with the flow. A good day at the office and they’ll have the series in their pocket.


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