David Miller Puts On Batting Masterclass In Losing Cause Against India Cricket Squad
With this win at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati, India clinched the series and attained an unassailable lead of 2-0.
In pursuit of 238, Proteas got to 221/3 to lose the game by only 16 runs.
India Cricket Squad's Top Three In The Knick Of Their Lives
KL Rahul has been given a lot of stick for his strike rate, but the right-handed opener has given it back to the critics of this series. The opener won the Player of the Match award for his quickfire knock of 57 off 28 where he took charge from the very first ball of the game.
Rahul and captain Rohit Sharma have had a similar mindset for a while, which is to go big from the get-go and never let the opposition's bowler settle in the powerplay.
Sharma batted at a relatively slower pace as compared to the other Indian batters on Sunday, but Rahul and Virat Kohli's knocks made up for it. Sharma was dismissed at 43 (47) by Keshav Maharaj.
Rahul struck four sixes and five fours before his innings came to an end at a strike rate of 203.57.
Even former Indian player Robin Utthapa poked fun at Rahul's critics after he brought up his 20th T20I half-century and second consecutive fifty in the series.
As for Kohli, he has shown no signs of stopping ever since India's early exit in this year's Asia Cup. His 122* against Afghanistan in the tournament seems to have given him his vintage groove, allowing him to score boundaries for fun on both sides of the ground.
Unlike the openers, Kohli likes to take his time and find gaps to let the ball hit the cushions. He had the same approach on Sunday where he bagged a 28-ball 49*.
The Chase Maestro scored at a 175 strike rate wherein he got a six and a whopping seven fours before letting Suryakumar Yadav and Dinesh Karthik take charge alongside him in the death overs.
Maharaj Stands Out Again
On a pitch where both fast bowlers and spinners were being taken to cleaners, Maharaj stood tall and delivered the goods.
Had he not dismissed the Indian openers and end his quota at 23/2, India may have gone past the 250-run mark.
The left-arm orthodox proved that a bowler can still get something out of batting tracks if they bowl in the right channels, with the right pace.
None of the India's batters were able to score boundaries off Maharaj with ease. His economy of 5.75 spoke volumes of Maharaj's ability to restrict the batters on even their best days.
Quicks Concede Mammoth Runs
Pace cartel on both sides was trying not to look their captains in the eye had they given them the ball to roll their arms.
The Guwahati track was an absolute belter wicket where all the batters had to do was time the ball and see it hit the boundary ropes in a flurry.
Starting with South Africa's bowling in the first inning, Anrich Nortje conceded 41 in his three overs whereas Lungi Ngidi ended his quota with 49 runs.
Kagiso Rabada had a night that he'd like to forget before the next game as he went for 57 runs in his four overs, bearing a hefty economy of 14. Wayne Parnell went for 54 as well.
None of these picked any wicket. Two of the three Indian batters that were dismissed were claimed by Keshav Maharav while Suryakumar Yadav was run out in a brain-fade moment with Kohli in late overs.
On the other side, Deepak Chahar was the lone pacer who stood head and shoulders above any fast bowler as he swung the ball both ways and kept Proteas in check from the first over which he bowled a maiden.
Chahar conceded only 24 runs whereas Harshal for 45 and Arshdeep for 62/2.
Sky's The Limit For Sky
There's a new Mr.360 in town and his name is Suryakumar Yadav aka Sky. Yadav's role in the team is very clear at Number 4. He has to carry the momentum that the top order sets for him and he has been delivering the goods with perfection so far.
He was India's top scorer for his 22-ball 61 and looked like the knick of his life before getting run out by SA skipper Temba Bavuma.
The right-arm batter brought his fifty in only 18 balls. And with this knock, he has become India's third-fastest player to reach 1,000 T20I runs in only 31 innings, following Kohli (29 innings) and Rahul with 24 innings.
It's just a matter of time before he dethrones Pakistan's Mohammad Rizwan as the top-ranked batsman in ICC's ranking.
India Cricket Squad Cautious Of Death Bowling
Good teams review their weaknesses even in victories and Rohit Sharma is no different. The India captain has admitted that their death bowlers need to take things up a notch to restrict the opposition to lower totals.
Fans saw the results in the Asia Cup as well where India seemingly missed having Jasprit Bumrah as their premium death-over specialist.
With Bumrah sidelined for the current series and upcoming T20 World Cup, Arshdeep and co will have to ace the final overs to tick every box for the management.
David Miller And De Kock's Efforts In Vain
David Miller lived up to his Killer Miller nickname in cricketing circles as he smacked an unbeaten ton. His 106 off 47 balls included seven sixes and eight fours.
The left-handed batsman has a knack for scoring big in the middle overs, which leaves fans wondering what devastation he can cause if he bats high up the order.
Quinton de Kock made 69 off 48, but it proved to be a bit sluggish with a target like 238 in sight.
After the game, Miller said that de Kock had personally apologized to him for not being able to match his power hitting and taking the team home.
Nevertheless, the duo put up one of the best partnerships in recent times in white-ball cricket.
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