Ashish Nehra has stated that Yuzvendra Chahal bowling only two overs against South Africa in the first T20I was surprising and captain Rishabh Pant committed an error by doing so. India lost the first game of the five-match T20I series by seven wickets while defending a target of 212.
India lost the first game of the five-match T20I series against South Africa on Thursday by seven wickets. Also, it was the first match for Rishabh Pant as a captain of the national team. Batting first, India posted a total of 211/4 courtesy of 76 runs from Ishan Kishan. In response, South Africa were reduced to 81/3 at one stage but a partnership between Rassie van der Dussen and David Miller helped them win the game. Both batters scored half-centuries and that helped the team win the game.
However, while Pant was captaining the team and his allocation of overs was surprising as Yuzvendra Chahal bowled only 13 balls of his quota. Several former cricketers have questioned the decision and Ashish Nehra has also echoed the same sentiment. He has stated that Chahal bowling only a couple of overs was a surprising move and he should have bowled when Dussen and were trying to settle.
"It is very surprising to me that a bowler like him only bowled 2 overs today. He should have bowled to the van der Dussen-Miller pair, especially at the stage when South Africa were back in the chase. Rishabh Pant surely made a mistake over there. He also was frantic in the powerplay, using five bowlers for six overs," Nehra told Cricbuzz.
"He only bowled 2 overs today. Sometimes teams hold back leg spinners because there is a left-hander batting. It is important to keep a wicket-taking option in the middle overs. If you have to stop a top-quality International batter, you will have to take his wicket, defensive bowling won’t work.”
Pant is often looked as the future captaincy prospect by the team management. In IPL 2022, Delhi Capitals were good under his leadership. He will now have a chance to work on his captaincy in the ongoing South Africa series. Nehra is of the opinion that Pant will learn and get better.
"Rishabh Pant is a young captain, he will learn and hopefully he will get better,” he stated.