India decimated the visiting South African side in the second T20I of the three-match series. Virat Kohli called it correctly at the toss and opted to bowl first. From thereon, it was a game where India hardly lost control over the proceedings completely, as they managed to maintain some stronghold over it even when Quinton de Kock looked to set the tempo in the first half of their innings. Eventually, India chased down the target of 150 runs at the loss of only three wickets. Going ahead in this report, we will overlook the happenings in detail.
Quinton de Kock had built a formidable base for the middle-order to capitalize on as the skipper notched a half-century with a strike rate of 140.54. However, he failed to carry on from there and the Indian bowlers pulled the game back in the last ten overs.
Ravindra Jadeja was instrumental in the field today. Image: BCCI
Ravindra Jadeja’s excellent caught and bowled dismissal off Rassie van der Dussen somewhat helped the home team pile on the pressure on the Proteas. Though Temba Bavuma was a steady figure in the middle-overs, some acceleration from his side could have helped his team achieve a better total at the end of 20 overs. Deepak Chahar’s economical and wicket-taking spell was crucial from India’s perspective, about which we will talk in the next few sections.
The team management had talked about changing India’s approach and strategy towards batting in the T20Is. From whatever we can make out with this innings, there were some notable signs of that. Rohit Sharma’s pull shots were exquisite, and so were Shikhar Dhawan’s drives early on. Sharma succumbed to Andile Phelukwayo’s delivery but Virat Kohli looked in cruise control right from the very start.
Kohli and Dhawan played important knocks today. Image: BCCI
They further strengthened India’s assertiveness over the game, until Dhawan’s lofted shot at long-on was caught masterfully by David Miller. Soon after, Rishabh Pant was dismissed for four runs but Shreyas Iyer partnered the captain brilliantly to close of the game. Kohli, in his usual trademark chasing style, finished off with a perfectly structured knock of 72 runs.
Moment of the match
If one were to pick two defining moments of the game, then including Miller’s immensely athletic one-handed catch off Dhawan is absolutely mandatory. From a distant view, it looked almost impossible for someone to reach the trajectory of the ball. However, Miller’s incredible dive and then the hold over the ball ensured that he completed that dismissal.
Kohli and Rohit Sharma are at the top of the T20I run-getters list.
Secondly, Virat Kohli’s 22nd half-century deserves to be right up there. The captain has now surpassed Rohit Sharma’s record and is atop the list of the most 50s by a batsman in T20Is. His stature, especially in limited-overs cricket keeps growing massively with each passing game.
Player of the match
Virat Kohli would definitely be the player of the match from my outlook. The way he stamped his authority over the game was phenomenal, yet regular for a player of his caliber. At no moment did the South African bowling looked to trouble him, considering his vast range of shots and the ability to keep the scoreboard ticking even when boundaries weren’t attained at ease.
Deepak Chahar had a fantastic time with the ball today. Image: BCCI
Deepak Chahar stood apart amongst the bowlers. Chahar’s major positive attribute over the past couple of years has been his ability to swing the ball both ways early on the innings. He did so today too, but it was his potential to deceive the adversary with his slower ones and the occasional full-length delivery that demonstrated the development in his gameplay altogether.
Stats of the day
As remarked earlier, but still worthy enough to be reiterated, Virat Kohli has now notched 22 half-centuries in the T20I format; more than any other player in this international version of the game.
Peculiarly, Deepak Chahar was the only bowler who recorded an economy rate of less than 6 RPO amongst the 12 bowlers who rolled their arms over this game. More importantly, he bowled the difficult overs at the top and in the end, conceded only 22 runs and bagged a couple of scalps as well.
Kohli scored his 22nd T20I Fifty against the Proteas.
Kohli scored his 22nd T20I Fifty against the Proteas.Image: BCCI
The Indian bowlers didn’t concede a single wide nor did they overstep the line even once throughout the course of the 20 overs. Contrastingly, the Proteas delivered five wides and this highlights the innate discipline maintained by a relatively lesser experienced Indian bowling attack too.