New Delhi: The two successive defeats against South Africa in the five T-20I series are being severely criticised by former players. Experts are raising their fingers on Rishabh Pant’s captaincy as well.
Gautam Gambhir, former Indian opener, has raised a question over Yuzvendra Chahal’s gameplan in the ongoing T20I series against South Africa. The leggie conceded a lot of runs in the match against the visitors played at Barabati Stadium, Cuttack on Sunday evening.
In the process, Chahal failed to make any impact on the opposition batters and instead leaked 49 runs in his allotted four over-quota. He bagged just a solitary wicket during his four-over spell.
In the absence of Kuldeep Yadav, cricket fans were expecting a far better performance from Chahal, who was in tremendous form in the recently concluded IPL tournament and bagged the Purple Cap for taking the most wickets, 27 for Rajasthan Royals.
However, Chahal has been looking tired so far in the first two T20I against the touring Proteas. He bowled just 2.1 overs in the first game, while in the second match, apart from taking the wicket of the captain, Bavuma, nothing went right for him in that match. Heinrich Klaasen hammered him and other home team bowlers all round the park, where he hit a match-winning knock of 81 off just 46 deliveries.
After losing the match, Gautam Gambhir said Chahal should be more aggressive and not play a defensive role, saying there are left-arm spinners and finger spinners to do the holding role.
Leaking 50 runs in four overs means that a bowler should grab three wickets during the process, which helps the team to win. But if a bowler gives 40 or 50 runs and takes only one wicket in this situation, it is a problem for the team, Gambhir said.
No South African batter needed to leave their crease to hit Chahal. They hit the leggie within the crease without taking any risk. It means the spinner was trying to bowl with pace.
The visitors outclassed the hosts and reached the required target of 149 runs comfortably in 18.2 overs. It is difficult but not impossible for Team India to bounce back in the series. Three matches are to be played. The third T-20-I to be held on Tuesday in Visakhapatnam.