India vs South Africa 1st T20I: David Miller, Rassie van der Dussen fire South Africa to seven-wicket win over India | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: For the first 30 overs of the first T20I, Rishabh Pant would have believed that his first game as India captain was a perfect one. Then David Miller happened. Needing 126 runs in 10 overs to chase down the 212-run target set by India, Miller and Rassie van der Dussen finished with an unbeaten 131-run partnership and ending India’s streak of T20I wins with five balls to spare.
Miller, with his unbeaten 31-ball 64, has shown he is in a zone where he can chase down any target with consummate ease as he has been doing over the past two months for Gujarat Titans in the IPL.
The excruciating heat and the vociferous packed house at Ferozeshah Kotla were triumphed by the chasing genius of Miller who allowed Dussen to take his time and then unleash himself on the Indian bowling attack in the back end of the chase. Shreyas Iyer’s dropped a sitter off Dussen’s bat at deep mid-wicket when he was on 25 and he ensured the Indian team rued it big time.

On the face of it, it may seem India have fielded a second string team but the bowling attack comprising Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan, Hasrhal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel and Hardik Pandya took the field after building great reputation in the IPL. Miller and Dussen demolished all of that in 40 minutes of clean ball-striking in front of the wicket. India’s endeavor to shed the conservative approach to T20 batting was undone by the persistent inadequacies with the white-ball in the death overs.
India’s white-ball death bowling has been an issue for a while and the South Africans exposed the frailties yet again on a lively Kotla track. Barring Avesh, who finished with figures of 0/35 in his four overs, nobody could find the block hole in the back end when Miller and Dussen. The Indian bowling attack was shown that IPL and international cricket are two completely different formats of the game.

Miller and Dussen’s demolition act put Ishan Kishan’s knock 76 off 48 balls. On Thursday evening in the first T20I, against a full-strength South African bowling attack on a lively Ferozeshah Kotla pitch, Ishan dug deep in the initial phase before exploding in the middle overs to help India post a daunting total of 211/4.
Ishan and his opening partner Ruturaj Gaikwad’s struggles against quality new-ball bowling was evident. The 48 runs off the powerplay notwithstanding, nearly every boundary came off streaky shots behind the wicket.
Stand-in skipper Rishabh Pant had declared that there will be evident change in the way the Indian team goes about pacing its T20 innings. Ishan had very little time to bide post the powerplay. He cashed in on Keshav Maharaj and Dwayne Pretorious while Shreyas Iyer smacked left-arm wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi for three sixes before going into his shell.
The middle-order delivered on the promise of going on all-out attack through the innings. Pant’s 16-ball 29 and Pandya’s unbeaten 12-ball 31 screamed that India have finally got closer to getting the firepower in the back end of the batting innings. It’s the powerplay that needs to be worked on.
Pandya’s return with the bat was pleasing but Pretorius hitting him for three sixes off his only over said he is still some way away from attaining bowling form at the international level.
India may have found a template for batting in T20 cricket, it’s time they needed one specified for the bowling group.

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