IND vs SA, 3rd T20I | Who said what ft. Rahul Dravid, Rohit Sharma

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Rohit Sharma with the T20I series trophy after triumphing over South Africa 2-1


IND vs SA, 3rd T20I | Who said what ft. Rahul Dravid, Rohit Sharma

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SportsCafe Desk


India wrapped up the T20I series in Indore on Tuesday with a 49-run loss after playing an experimental lineup courtesy of their unassailable lead having won the first two games. South Africa rode on the back of a stellar inning from Rilee Rossouw to ensure they go to the World T20 on a high.

India decided to rest two key top-order batsmen in the form of KL Rahul and Virat Kohli for the final game of the three-match T20I series against South Africa at the Holkar Stadium. The venue's short boundary dimensions lend themselves to some explosive batsman, as was evident in Quinton de Kock's knock of 68 off 43 deliveries and a maiden T20I century for Rilee Rossouw. The Proteas ended with 228 on the board before the Men in Blue decided to open with Rishabh Pant in Rahul's absence. However, none of their batsmen managed a big inning, as Dinesh Karthik tallied the highest score for the hosts with a commanding 46(21). Eventually, Dwaine Pretorious picked up his third scalp in the 10th over to bowl out India for 178, securing a 49-run consolation victory for the visitors.

South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma was pleased with the result as they now travel to Australia for the World T20 beginning October 16.   

Win like this is big for our confidence. Can take a lot from this game. If we look back, in the first game, our batting didn't click. We didn't adapt to the conditions. In the second game, we had plans that we didn't execute. Today, we were a lot clearer in terms of the plans and what we were trying to do.

Temba Bavuma

Rohit Sharma, meanwhile, was not too bothered with the loss and had jokes ready in his arsenal. However, he did comment on India's bowling struggles and the absence of Jasprit Bumrah in the World T20 Down Under through injury.

First things first, Surya's form is a concern (laughs). As a team we said at the beginning, no matter what happens with the result - there's always room for improvement. We want to keep getting better as a team. We have to look at our bowling, what more options we can find in the powerplay, middle and death. We were playing two quality sides, have to go back and see what better we can do. It will be challenging and we need to find answers, still working towards that. Guys need lot more clarity in terms of what they want to achieve and it's my job to make sure it happens. A lot of the guys haven't been to Australia, that's why we are going there early. We want to play on the bouncy pitches of Perth, we want to see what we can do there. Only 7-8 members of the squad have been to Australia, so we have organized a few practice games. We need to understand what combination we can play. Bumrah is out of the World Cup, so we need to find a bowler who has experience of bowling in Australia. Not sure who that bowler is going to be, we will see once we travel to Australia, we'll find it out there.

Rohit Sharma

Indian coach Rahul Dravid reiterated similar thoughts while explaining the thought process behind changing up the batting order for the game.

Good to get the right results in both series. In this format, you need luck, things to go your way, especially in close games. We didn't have that in the Asia Cup, but had some luck in Australia. We were able to rotate the squad a bit, pleased with how it's gone overall. We made a decision after the last T20 WC, sat down with Rohit, made a conscious effort to be positive. We have the batsmanship to play positively, we had to structure our squad with batting depth. Pleased with the way we've come along. Today was an opportunity to give guys who haven't had much batting to get some time. It's hard on guys like Rishabh, Dinesh. Wish both of them could've continued, they were batting beautifully. 4-5 overs more and it could've been a lot closer. Happy with the way we kept going, Harshal and Deepak and the other guys. Bumrah's absence is a big loss, he's been a great player but it happens, it's an opportunity for someone else to stand up. We'll miss him, his personality around the group. Mohammed Shami is in the NCA at the moment - we'll have to get reports as to how he's recovering, and what's his status after 14-15 days of Covid, and we'll take a call, once I get reports on how he's feeling, then we can take a call and the selectors can take a call on how we move forward on in. Shami obviously is someone who's in the standbys, but unfortunately for us, he couldn't play this series, which would have been ideal from that perspective.

Rahul Dravid

Man of the match Rilee Rossouw kept it short on his performance after a tiring 100 off 48 deliveries but expanded upon Temba Bavuma's terrible tally of three runs in the series.

It's something every cricketer goes through [coming in on the back of two ducks]. Knew something special was in store. It was special, I'm glad to have been able to contribute. [On Bavuma's form] No, I don't think it affects the team at all. Like we spoke about it today, if someone's going to have a good day, they can carry that weight of someone that's not in great form and it literally you saw it tonight. It takes one knock and Temba can be in the form of his life going to the World Cup. It's something that we just need to be there as a team for him because every professional goes through this and it's about backing him and we do; his ability, his captaincy we really really back him.

Rilee Rossouw

Suryakumar Yadav grabbed the man of the series award for his half-centuries in the first two games and was quick to entertain with his wit despite a failure in the third game.

I think the thought process was the same. The wicket was good. The way DK Bhai was batting, I had to take a step back and build a nice partnership with him. But it didn't work today. I was not really demoted, DK Bhai didn't bat a lot in this tournament. He needed some game time as well. And the way he batted, I think my No. 4 spot is in trouble. I'm not a stats man [on his 50 sixes in 2022], but my friends keep sending me stuff on WhatsApp. I haven't thought about Australia just yet but it's a challenge am really looking forward to.

Suryakumar Yadav

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