India suffered their first defeat in the ongoing T20 World Cup, going down by five wickets in their Super 12 clash against South Africa in Perth on Sunday. The team failed to fire with the bat despite playing an extra batting XI and in reply, David Miller and Aiden Markram’s calculated approach ensured that South Africa played to the occasion and got through the target.
The defeat dropped India to second place in the Group 2 points table and made life difficult for Pakistan, who were hoping to win the contest to ensure India stay in the Final Four race. While much has been debated behind India’s downfall, we list the turning points that cost Rohit Sharma and Co. the match.
Too hot to use
The match started with Wayne Parnell delivering a maiden against KL Rahul. He shared the new ball duties with Kagiso Rabada before South African captain Themba Bavuma introduced Lungi Ngidi into the attack.
The run-scorer did exactly what the captain expected as he steamrolled through India’s top order, reduced to 41-3 after 7 overs. Rahul, Rohit and Virat Kohli returned to the dugout and all three fell to Ngidi.
He soon went to remove Hardik Pandya as well, with Kagiso Rabada taking a diving catch at fine leg to account for the four wickets he picked in the match.
Hooda fails, Karthik is disappointed
While we are still discussing the holes in India’s batting, two names that cannot be missed are Deepak Hooda and Dinesh Karthik. Starting first with Hooda, the middle-order batsman came into the XI in place of Axar Patel. The move, which many believed would strengthen the Indian batting order, however, all went south as Hooda’s stay in the middle lasted just three balls and he returned to the pavilion without troubling the batsmen.
Coming to Dinesh Karthik, he started slowly and was dismissed while playing the first big shot after hitting 15 balls in his innings. India’s designated finisher Karthik hasn’t been able to do much in Australia and pundits believe it’s time to bring Rishabh Pant back into the mix of things.
If the batsmen apart from Suryakumar Yadav disappointed the fans, it was not the end. Fielding errors at crucial junctures also cost the Proteas relief, and even more surprising were the players behind the ball.
Rohit Sharma missed two chances, one of which was so easy that he lost hope of even batting. India’s captain failed to shake off the shock with an underarm toss as Aiden Markram’s 42-ball 51 took the match out of India’s grasp.
It wasn’t the only chance when India failed to get Markram back to the pavilion. Moments earlier, he had bowled a shot towards Kohli at mid-wicket, but in a surprising turn of events, the former India captain failed to catch the ball.
It’s no surprise, especially after he pulled off a one-handed blinder in a practice match against Australia two weeks ago.
Miller’s power will lose Ashwin’s experience
With 25 men required from the last three overs, India needed only Ashwin as Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami fell short of their quota. However, the carrom-ball specialist was greeted with two consecutive sixes, enough to shift the momentum completely in South Africa’s favour.
Also read: Rohit Sharma defends the 18th delivery to Ashwin
The same man who had earlier bowled him a match-winning knock of 59* off 46 balls hit him for two more sixes in his previous game.