Quinton de Kock’s captaincy debut for South Africa didn’t pan out the way he’d have liked. In the second T20I against India in Mohali, he did light up fireworks with the bat after being put in to bat first. However, he lacked the desired support from his teammates. Right through the powerplay, De Kock was the lone warrior for his team after they lost Reeza Hendricks early for 6 runs. The wicket-keeper batsman, however, played some glorious shots before Virat Kohli took a blinder to dismiss him for 52.
Soon, Rassie van der Dussen got out to Ravindra Jadeja just after scoring 1 run. Temba Bavuma did put in his best efforts but it wasn’t really his forte towards the end of the innings. Mounting pressure meant that he fancied a big shot which he failed to connect well and thus couldn’t get to a fifty on his debut. South Africa couldn’t really translate the start into a big one. Ultimately, all their inexperienced batting line-up could muster was 149/5 in 20 overs.
This was way too below par a target to set. The chase was a cakewalk for India even though they lost Rohit Sharma for just 12 runs. Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli laid a wonderful platform before a killer catch from David Miller dismissed the former for 40. The skipper, though, kept going strong and went on to get his 22nd T20I half-century. There was a brief hiccup in between with Rishabh Pant getting out to yet another rash shot. But Shreyas Iyer ensured that he saw the team through along with Kohli. India completed the chase in 19 overs and with 7 wickets to spare.
Quinton de Kock, the South Africa captain, said
We got off to a good start and towards the end, they bowled pretty well and they assessed the conditions better than we did. There was a lot of pressure on some of the new guys and I think they did pretty well against this world-class opposition.
KG upfront tried to pick up wickets and unfortunately, with pace on the ball it looked easier to bat on and pace off the ball seemed to be the better option on this wicket. I was quite hungry to get out there and hopefully next time we do better than what we did today with the bat.
Virat Kohli, the India captain and the Man of the Match, said
You (Sanjay Manjrekar) reminded me of the best game of my T20 career. I got a bit of motivation from that. When you play like that and win a game for your team, it is always a good feeling. That night (2016 World T20 game vs AUS) was a revelation of how fit you can be on a cricket field.
The pitch was very good and an outstanding effort from the bowlers to pull things back. As long as they (youngsters) show character in difficult situations, they are going to present a strong case for themselves in the future. Lot of positive signs for us and they’ll get many more games to prove their mettle. They are going in the right direction.
The badge in front of my shirt – India – it is a pride to play for my country. Whatever it takes, whichever format, to get us across the line, I’ll do that. Adapting in different formats is nothing but a mindset of making your team win. If you want to win a game for your team, you will find a way. That’s the most important thing. I never think for myself, it’s always about what the team needs. Test cricket, one-day cricket … the will should be to win the game for your country.
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