South Africa vs India 2018, 3rd T20I– 5 Things we learnt from the game
South Africa were brilliant in the second T20I when they chased 189 to level the series. The decider was a much-anticipated match as for the first time on this tour, a series had gone into a decider.
However, just before the game started, India suffered a solid blow as skipper Virat Kohli sat out due to a stiff back. Rohit Sharma walked out to lead the ‘Men in Blue’ as they made three changes. Dinesh Karthik and Axar Patel got a game after they warmed the benches right throughout this limited-overs leg. South Africa also made a couple of changes as Aaron Phangiso and Christiaan Jonker (debut) replaced Dane Paterson and JJ Smuts.
Opting to field first, South Africa continued to drop catches as India posted 172 with all batsmen contributing. Chasing 173, South Africa were off to a pretty poor start as they could score only 25 in the powerplay. But skipper JP Duminy kept the hosts in the hunt with a valiant 55. But it was Christiaan Jonker who took them close.
With 53 required from the last three overs, the game looked beyond the Proteas. But Christiaan Jonker kept South Africa in the game as he struck some clean blows and scored 18 and 16 runs off Shardul and Bumrah’s final overs. However, Bhuvneshwar held his nerve and executed his plans brilliantly to hand India a 7-run victory and the series.
#5 Junior Dala dismisses Rohit Sharma for the third consecutive time
Rohit Sharma has had a forgettable South African tour (barring the Port Elizabeth ODI). After a poor Test series, many believed that the Indian limited-overs opener would come into his own in the shorter formats. However, barring the 5th ODI (where he scored 115), Rohit Sharma didn’t have the best of tours.
After a couple of failures in the first two T20Is, Rohit walked out to lead the team in Virat Kohli’s absence. But his fortunes didn’t change as he fell to Junior Dala for the third consecutive time in the series (all dismissals coming in the second over of the innings). After getting a couple of boundaries in the first over, he was caught right in front as Dala beat him with a nip-backer for the second consecutive time. His dismissal was a carbon-copy of the 2nd game.
In 7 deliveries that Rohit faced from Dala, he scored only 4 runs (one boundary) and was dismissed 3 times. He became the first Indian batsman to be dismissed by the same bowler in 3 successive innings. He ended the T20I series with 32 runs (21, 0 and 11) at 10.66 and finished this under-par South African series with yet another failure.