Team India kept their hopes in the five-match T20 series alive with a comprehensive 48-run over South Africa in the third T20 in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday (June 14). Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal was star of the win, claiming 3/20 in four overs.
Under pressure to perform after two poor outings in the series, the IPL 2022 Purple Cap-winner turned his form around to help India level the series. Chahal, who was awarded the Player of the Match for his sensational spell, said he bowled to ‘his strengths’.
“I was bowling too many and quick sliders in the last game. I spoke to Paras (Mhambrey) sir and coaches about it. So I tried to bowl quick leg-breaks, but with a different seam position today. I want to turn and dip the ball, I couldn’t do it the last time so they were able to hit through the line. I tried to get some turn and change the line of the ball,” Chahal said at the post-match presentation.
“When you get middle-order batsmen out in the middle overs, the pressure is on them. Batsmen try a lot of sweeps and reverse sweeps these days so we have to be prepared for that too, as bowlers,” he added.
Delighted that his team was finally able to execute its plan to perfection, India skipper Rishabh Pant emphasised on the importance of spinners performing well in the middle overs, especially in Indian conditions.
“The execution was spot-on from the bowlers and the batters. We were 15 runs short, but we weren’t thinking about that. Bowlers did a fantastic job for us,” Pant said at the post-match presentation.
First win as #TeamIndia Captain
It was a much improved performance from Chahal (3/20) and Axar Patel (1/28), who went for 75 and 59 in six and five overs respectively in the previous two games.
“In India, spinners play a big role. They contain the batsmen in the middle overs. So there is pressure on them to perform, but in such matches when it comes off, this is what happens,” Pant said.
However, the skipper was not happy with the middle order batting collapse that saw India fall a few runs short of the expected total. “I don’t think it’s a good thing for us (middle order not performing), but after a good start it’s difficult for new batsmen to go straight away. We will try to improve in the next match,” Pant said.
(with PTI inputs)