India wrapped up the T20I series against South Africa in style as Bhuvneshwar Kumar defended 18 runs in the last over in the series-decider in Cape Town on his way to Man of the Series award. Kumar picked up seven wickets in the series which is now the most by an Indian pacer in a bilateral T20I series.
India brought back Suresh Raina for the T20I series against South Africa and he made full use of it by bossing Powerplay in all the three T20Is. He won the Man of the Match award for his all-round performance while Manish Pandey substantiated himself in the second T20I in Centurion by scoring unbeaten 79 runs. MS Dhoni was also at his best in the second T20I, scoring 52* runs from 28 balls.
“I worked really hard for two years. Each and every session, I was doing in the gym, on the field, I was just (thinking) when I am going to play for India again. I think God helped. Thanks to my wife, my kid to make me believe I can go there and wear the jersey again. That's what I think the Indian team does. When you make a lot of sacrifices in your life and at the same time you enjoy your game, (it works out). I worked really hard on my game and my mental toughness,” Suresh Raina told in the press conference after the match.
For South Africa, Heinrich Klassen and Junion Dala’s performances will be the positives from the series along with their captain JP Duminy’s form. They have to find show consistency to win against Australia irrespective of any format.
Let’s look at some of the records created and broken during the T20I series.
This was India’s seventh consecutive T20I series win of three or more matches. They have not lost such a series yet. Moreover, Rohit Sharma became the sixth captain to win first four T20Is as a captain after Misbah-ul-Haq, Kumar Sangakkara, Shahid Afridi, Lasith Malinga and Sarfraz Ahmed.
No South African player has now hit more sixes than JP Duminy in T20Is. AB de Villiers is at the second place in the list with 60 sixes.
JP Duminy has scored 11 fifty-plus scores in T20Is which is the most among all the South African players.
Manish Pandey and MS Dhoni added unbeaten 98 runs for the fifth wicket in the second T20I in Centurion which was the fourth-highest fifth wicket stand in T20Is.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar is the only Indian player to take a five-for in all the three formats of international cricket.
Yuzvendra Chahal conceded 64 runs in the second T20I, which is now the most by an Indian bowler in T20Is. He also holds the record of best bowling figures for India in T20Is.
Rohit Sharma bagged a duck in the second T20I and his four ducks in T20Is are now the most by an Indian player.
No other wicket-keeper has taken more catches than MS Dhoni in T20 cricket. Kumar Sangakkara has also taken 135 catches from 256 T20 matches.
Virat Kohli amassed 871 runs from 14 innings across formats on this South African tour which is the second most by a captain on an away tour across formats.
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As it had been reported earlier, KL Rahul, who has been doing keeping drills, will don the big gloves for the game.
The BCCI also shared snapshots of the team's bowlers with pacers Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin seen training hard ahead of their warm-up game.
India will look to settle down on their first-choice spinners on the Sri Lanka tour as T20 World Cup fast approaches.