Despite several youngsters being picked in the squad for the T20I series against South Africa, the Indian cricket team management went with an unchanged XI for the second T20I in Cuttack on Sunday, after going down in the first T20I. Their fortune also remained the same as India slumped to a loss yet again to trail 0-2 in the five-match series. After the defeat, former Indian cricket team captain Sunil Gavaskar gave his take on the changes that India might bring in starting from third T20I. Youngsters like Arshdeep Singh and Umran Malik and Gavaskar had an interesting take on the latter.
“The last time, I am trying to think… The last time I got really excited at seeing an Indian Player was Sachin Tendulkar…when Sachin Tendulkar…you know young Indian. And after that I have got excited watching Umran Malik. So yes, I do believe he should play but they might say ‘let’s win the third one and then get ourselves in a situation, maybe then we can experiment with the team. That can well happen. It also depends on the kind of surface that they are going to see in the third T20I,” Gavaskar said on Star Sports after the end of the second T20I.
In the third T20I in Cuttack on Sunday, comeback man Heinrich Klaasen followed Rassie Van der Dussen’s suit in turning out to be an unlikely hero with a career-best 81 as South Africa once again outwitted India by four wickets on a tricky pitch. On a two-paced track where most of the batters struggled, Klaasen made it look ridiculously easy as he smashed seven fours and five towering sixes in his 46-ball knock to help his team knock off a target of 149 with 10 balls to spare.
The wicketkeeper-batter, who was included into the side as a forced change for injured Quinton de Kock, completed his fourth T20I fifty in 32 balls before he smashed three sixes off Yuzvendra Chahal to virtually seal the chase.
But it was not enough as they just needed three runs from the last two overs and the in-form David Miller (20 not out) completed the win to give the Proteas a commanding 2-0 lead going into the Vizag T20I on June 14.