India clinched their first T20I series at home against South Africa in entertaining style by scoring a mammoth 237 before being subjected to an onslaught themselves at the hands of David Miller. Eventually, India did manage a comfortable 16-run win to raise some serious questions for the Proteas.
India rode on the back of big batting displays from the top-four to register their fourth-highest T20I total ever of 237/3. A valiant century from David Miller in response threatened the hosts' chances of victory, but Quinton de Kock's knock of 69 took up too many balls to give them a real shot at the chase. In the end, the Men in Blue sealed the series 2-0 by a 16-run margin to take their winning momentum into the final game on October 4 in Indore.
India under Rohit Sharma has been adopting an aggressive batting approach right from the word go, a strategy that has been fueled by Surykumar Yadav's exemplary form of late.
All of us came together and said this is what we want. It has given mixed results but we will continue that approach. In the recent past, the focus has been on each individual to come in and do the job, we've moved forward from there. There is a concern to be honest, as we haven't bowled well [in the death]. But that is the area where we will be challenged. We do it with the bat too. The expectations are high. It's not a concern but we have to pick ourselves. I'm thinking of not playing Surya till the 23rd to keep his form (laughs).
South Africa had previously managed just 106 in the first T20I and while their batting did well in the second game, the bowling struggled to restrain the Indian batsmen.
It wasn't our best performance, the conditions were different. We couldn't execute out plans. Late with the bat, I thought we could have given it a good go with 220 but 240 was too high. Miller was looking good, lot of confidence to be taken from his performance. The conditions were tough, we tried to get it swinging the ball early. But when it reduced, we saw how easy it was.
KL Rahul was awarded the man of the match award for his 28-ball 57 even though Suryakumar Yadav high-scored for the side with a 22-ball 61.
I am surprised I am getting the Man of the Match award, Surya should have gotten it. He changed the game. Having batted in the middle order, I have realized that it is difficult. DK doesn't always get too many balls to face, and he was phenomenal, and so were Surya and Virat. It does (feel satisfying). It is important as an opener to understand what is required on a day and give it your best. It is the mindset I have always played in and will continue to do the same. Satisfying to test yourself in different conditions.
Suryakumar Yadav now has three-consecutive half-centuries to his name in T20Is but his inning on Sunday was overshadowed by David Miller's antics.
We were batting first, so I was clear about setting the tempo. I went out and enjoyed myself. I didn't think of any score as par, just wanted to bat as deep as possible and get as many runs. [On David Miller] You can see the sweat still (laughs), he hit it beautifully.
David Miller ended up with an unbeaten 106 off 47 deliveries, lacing his second T20I century with eight boundaries and seven maximums.
Quinton obviously struggled upfront but he managed to bat through and give us a chance. He is a capable batter of hitting fours and sixes, so it was just about getting in. As you saw, we were just 16 runs short. He walked up to me and said 'Well played, I'm sorry'. It was a great wicket, and India put us under pressure from the start. We had to go from ball one and the freedom allowed us to express ourselves. It is raining out here and has been a bit wet (humidity). Was just taking as much water as possible.