South Africa leveled the T20I series by bagging victory in the final game. It might be a fair result for both the teams who are figuring out their winning combinations. Though the Indian team will be disheartened after missing the chance of beating a weaker opponent on the home soil they have some positives going forward. On the other hand, the Proteas will be more than happy to share the trophy after their disappointing World Cup campaign.
It started with a washout at Dharamshala so the players were left with only two chances to prove their mettle. It was a hard-fought series as the pitches were not one-dimensional and the players needed to apply themselves to get their rewards. While some of them enjoyed their time in the middle a handful of them didn’t rise to the occasion. Their performances remained the low point of the series.
Here is the list of 5 cricketers who under-performed in T20I series
1) Rohit Sharma
In the last couple of years, India’s top order has played a big role in their white-ball success. Particularly the consistency of Rohit Sharma is the foundation of the country’s limited-overs structure. Such has been his dominance that he has piled on three centuries in T20Is.
He is considered one of the key players if India has to win the next year’s T20 World Cup. That’s why the team management has given him all the support including a push in the Test arena. For all the talk about Rohit Sharma’s impending opening duties in red-ball cricket new questions arose at the end of the T20I series.
His twin failures ensured that the team never got a good start. What’s more disturbing was his intent as the Hitman looked edgy in both the innings. Once again his technique against the new ball became a debate. It will not serve him well for the Test series which is starting in a week and will surely affect his confidence.
2) Reeza Hendricks
After the retirement of some of their star players, the South Africa team is in need of quality batting stocks. Especially the top-order has to be sorted out quickly as they are heavily dependent on Quinton de Kock. It was a great opportunity for someone like Reeza Hendricks to book a permanent seat in the dressing room.
The right-hander has been a consistent performer in the domestic circuit. His average of 35 in 119 T20s is the testimony to the fact. Even in his international career, he has found decent success with 4 half-centuries in 22 ties. So the Proteas were banking on him for significant contributions but he failed to complement De Kock.
Though he managed 26 runs in the 3rd T20I it was mostly because of India’s poor bowling. On both occasions, he played into the hands of opposition with rash shots. With his ability to score big runs he might be retained for the future ties but he should be more responsible.
3) Rishabh Pant
India’s middle-order problems are getting murkier with each passing day. They have tested out several combinations but none of them have owned the spot with conviction. Amidst all these new Men in Blue is finding it difficult to fill the boots of MS Dhoni as Rishabh Pant is yet to take off in white-ball cricket.
The youngster has all the talent to replace the legend. His inventive shot-making gives him the edge over the other keeper-batsmen in the country. The Delhi lad is considered a special talent and that’s why he has been given a longer rope by the Indian team management.
Still, Pant is not showing any signs of improvement as he is regularly gifting his wicket to the opposition. In the name of intent he has played poor shots irrespective of the situation of the game and has put the team in a hole. The southpaw needs to reassess his style of play as sometimes it can be a double-edged sword which will eventually cut him in half.
4) Anrich Nortje
There have been times when the pace attack of Proteas has single-handedly dragged the team to the winner’s podium. Even now they possess some of the top-class fast-bowling exponents and one of them is Anrich Nortje. The speedster is a lethal weapon as he can trouble the batsmen with his raw pace.
His height can be a decisive factor on good surfaces as he can generate awkward bounce. All in all, he has the required qualities to become a breakout star. After getting the necessary match practice in the unofficial ODI series against India the pacer seemed ready to let off the steam.
It would have been a great contest between him and the skillful Indian batsmen but the party never started on time. Nortje looked rusty in his only game and didn’t complete his spell owing to his lack of accuracy. He can be a valuable asset for the team in the 7th edition of the T20 championship so he needs to pick up his game.
5) Krunal Pandya
It’s quite strange how quickly the Indian team has turned their attention to skillful all-rounders from game-changing wrist spinners. In the process, the cricketer who has become an integral part of the country’s T20 set-up is none other than Krunal Pandya. His well-rounded game has allowed the skipper to field a balanced playing XI.
His accurate bowling in the middle-overs coupled with his finishing skills is the perfect recipe for this format. Add his athletic fielding which makes him a complete package. A month ago, Krunal played an important role when the team pasted West Indies in their den. Then it was time for him to stamp his authority on the home soil where pitches are conducive to slow bowlers.
In the third game, an opportunity knocked on his doors but he didn’t turn up with the bat. Thereafter he was expected to produce a quality spell on the Bangalore surface which aided spinners. Unfortunately, he bowled too short and didn’t trouble the batsmen at all and ended up conceding 40 runs in a low scoring tie.
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