SA vs IND, 2nd ODI: India aim better batting performance with series

KL Rahul (captain) of India during the first Betway One Day International between South Africa and India.
Image Source: Ashley Wlotman / Gallo Images / Getty Images

KL Rahul (captain) of India during the first Betway One Day International between South Africa and India at Eurolux Boland Park. (file photo)

KL Rahul He will have to show much better leadership skills when he leads India in the second ODI on Thursday for a three-match series against South Africa and his long-term Test captaincy ambitions.

Rahul was mediocre at best in terms of “thinking on his feet”, something that is fundamental to the art of captaincy, and did not even see a role with the bat in the 31-run loss in the opening ODI, where India were the better side of the game. Outplayed for the part.

middle order, which was a problem since Virat KohliTough days as captain, still sticking out like a sore throat and no one knows exactly what the solution is.

Once again, it was a case of an opener – Shikhar Dhawan On this occasion — and the indomitable Kohli, holding fort before the middle order, fell on a slow pitch where there was turn and the ball was caught, creating a run-of-the-mill seamer Andile Phehlukwayo look formidable.

South Africa crushed India both strategically as well as skillfully and therein raised serious questions about Rahul’s wealth as captain.

The most pressing question was what was Venkatesh Iyer actually doing in the team if he was not bowling at least four to five overs as the sixth bowler. Yuzvendra Chahal And Shardul Thakur was being taken to the sweepers by Rassi van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma?

If Venkatesh is playing as a specialist batsman at No.6 why not use Suryakumar Yadav, who is more experienced with better strokes under pressure?

The next question was whether Rahul spoke to Chahal or Ashwin when van der Dussen and Bavuma started playing the sweep shot – both conventional and reverse sweeps on a good batting line.

There was not much change in bowling like the Proteas, who started Aiden Markramof the off-break first-up and bottled up the Indian captain.

When India batted, the game was lost in the halfway stage when Dhawan and Kohli were dismissed in quick succession after their 90-plus stands. Suddenly the bar on which batting seemed easy has become difficult.

Shreyas Iyer’s well-documented struggles against the short ball were reveled for the day and the Mumbaikar will know that a place in the Indian playing XI comes at a premium and he cannot waste chances like a millionaire.

But given the blueprint of Rahul Dravid, he will get his share of opportunities.

On slow pitches where it is necessary to rotate the strike, Rishabh Pant and two Iyers will have to play a big role.

Similarly, Shardul Thakur, despite his half-century, which came after the end of the match as a competition and had no target pressure, has to measure up as a bowler which is his primary skill.

Scoring more than 70 runs in his 10-over spell with too many loose balls did not help the team and even Bhuvneshwar Kumar He looked disappointed when he returned to the national playing XI after the tour of Sri Lanka.

The difference between the two sides was how the spinners performed – Ashwin and Chahal conceded 106 runs for one wicket in their combined 20 overs while Markram, Tabraiz Shamsi And Keshav Maharaj Between them took four wickets for 124 runs in 26 overs.

“It was the kind of wicket we bring back home. It wasn’t a typical South African wicket. The wicket was in (on offer), and the ball was keeping straight too, so it wasn’t easy for the new batsman to run. To make,” senior batsman Dhawan had said after the match.

“The set batsmen’s plan was to take it deep but unfortunately I got out on the ball which was too bent and I didn’t expect it, but yes it happens,” he said.

Test captaincy is a different ball game than white ball but Rahul knows only too well that when it comes to decision making, top officials tend to back down on their references.

And a series loss against South Africa isn’t going to bode well for him unless the head coach is intent on trying to oust him.

squads

India: KL Rahul (captain), Jasprit Bumrah, Shikhar Dhawan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Venkatesh Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Ishan Kishan (wicket-keeper), Yuzvendra Chahal, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Prasidh Krishna, Shardul Thakur, Md. Siraj, Jayant Yadav, Navdeep Saini.

South Africa: Temba Bavuma (Captain), Keshav Maharaj, quinton de kock (wk), Zubair Hamza, Marco Jensen, Janman Malan, Sisanda Magala, Aiden Markram, David Miller, lungi ngidi, Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwayne Pretorius, Tabrez Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verne.

The match will start at 2 PM IST.

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