India suffered a five-wicket defeat against South Africa in Perth on Sunday, their first in the ongoing T20 World Cup. India, who entered the contest batting extra, could not cope with South Africa’s onslaught and could only muster 133/9 in 20 overs after electing to bat first. KL Rahul’s poor show at the top continued, while Deepak Hooda, playing his first match in the ongoing tournament, was bowled out for 0.
Dinesh Karthik, who made a stunning comeback to the national team, also came under the radar of ex-cricketers after managing 6 off 15 balls.
However, if India are to take a positive out of the match, it will be their pace attack led by youngster Arshdeep Singh. In the very first game of the competition, the pacer took two wickets, picking up Quinton de Kock and Riley Rossouw cheaply.
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Arshdeep was well supported by his compatriots Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami who ensured that South Africa fought hard for victory.
Arshdeep completed his quota with an economy of just 6.25, while Shami was even better in less than four runs. Bhuvneshwar’s economy from 3.4 overs was 5.73.
Speaking to reporters after the match, Arshdeep credited his success to Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who he believes puts pressure on him and it pays dividends for him in return.
“We will study the batsmen’s weaknesses, me and Bhuvi bhai will try to get some swing first and try to hit him early. I can attack the batter because Bhuvi bhai saves the bowling so much that the batter is already under pressure,” Arshdeep was quoted as saying by a PTI reporting.
“The credit goes to him for my success. The batsmen are not taking chances against him (Bhuvneshwar) and are doing the same with me. That’s why we have built a good partnership. Bowling partnership is as important as batting partnership,” he added.
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If we leave out Arshdeep’s performance against South Africa, he did the same in the first game against Pakistan, removing world-class batsman Babar Azam for a golden duck. He has taken seven wickets at 7.83 in three matches so far.
Bhuvneshwar has not been among the wicketkeepers so far, managing just three, but he has been impressive with an economy rate of 4.87 in 10.4 overs.