India v South Africa: Five reasons why India lost the First T20 in Dharamsala

The first T20 of the historic Gandhi-Mandela series kicked off with a thriller, in which South Africa emerged victoriously. India lost the match to Jean-Paul  Duminy’s clever innings 68 off 34, which is comprised of 1 four and 7 sixes, in Dharamsala. Duminy’s innings also dwarfed Rohit Sharma’s brilliant 106 off 66 balls.

A 105 runs partnership between Duminy and Farhaan Behardien won South Africa a cliff hanger with 7 wickets in hand.

The Proteas, who managed only two wins against India before the match in Dharamsala, snatched the win from India. On a sporting wicket where bowlers predicted to get assistance, but small boundary made them suffer as batsmen from the both sides battered bowlers. However, there are five reasons which went in favour of South Africa and forced India to end on the wrong side of the match.

Toss factor

South Africa T20 captain Faf du Plessis took a wise decision. After winning the toss, he decided to chase. Despite, the rainy season is leaving India and the humidity is yet to congeal in other parts of the country, dew has become a factor in Dharamsala, which is located 1317 meters above the sea level.  The SA captain knew that Indian bowlers would face the problem in gripping the ball in their chase. So, his decision played a big role in deciding the match’s result.

Wickets of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma

Opener Rohit Sharma and vice-captain Virat Kohli built a 138 runs partnership, but, their wickets in the span of three balls in the 16th over of the match derailed the momentum of India’s innings. They were taking 10 runs per over during their partnership that lasted 12 overs of India’s innings. When Centurian Rohit Sharma’s blitzkrieg innings was ended by South Africa’s only successful bowler Kyle Abbott, India were at 162 for 2. Five overs left of India’s innings, unsettle Indian batsmen such as Suresh Raina, who hit two sixes, but failed to understand the crease and was trapped LBW by Chris Morris. After his departure in the 18. 3 over India were 184. Ambati Rayudu, who was selected over Ajinkya Rahane, under pressure, got run out. When Rohit and Virat had been batting India’s innings seemed can cross 220, but finally failed to put 200 run board. Otherwise, India  could start the series with a lead.

Three slow medium pacers:

India’s strategy to pick three slow bowlers boomeranged. Debutante Sreenath Aravind was predictable as a result SA openers AB de Villers and Hasim Amla did not have any problem to attack from the very first ball of the over. Mohit Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were also not better than Aravind. While Aravind conceded 44 runs in 3.4 over, experienced Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohit Sharma conceded 40 runs each in their four allotted overs. They were butchered by de Villers, JP Duminy and Farhaan Behardien. India needs some quick bowlers like Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav in the team.

Umpire’s wrong decision

Two right decision could have changed the course of the match. First Rohit Sharma got a life when he was yet to open his account as he survived a close shout for leg before wicket, but the same incident occurred in the 17th over of South Africa’s chase when Duminy, who won a cliffhanger, got a reprieve when he was trapped right in front of the wickets off the bowling of Bhuvneshwar Kumar. If the umpire raised his finger, then India could have to chance to win the match because at that South Africa still needed 43 runs from 23 balls. Captain MS Dhoni did not hide his displeasure in the press conference about poor umpiring in the match.

Unimaginative Axar Patel

The left-handed spinner had made the difference between the two sides. He was bowling well, he threatened to break the opening partnership of AB de Villers and Hasim Amla. But, his bowling was made a mockery by Duminy. It was the 16th over of the innings. At the end of 15th over South Africa needed 66 runs, the determined left handed batsman Duminy smashed Axar for three sixes. That over from Patel produced 22 runs and turned the match in South Africa’s favour. It was not understood why captain MS Dhoni asked Axar to bowl while Duminy was on strike. Left handed batsman always find easy to play left handed bowler. 

However, it is expected that an improved India will bounce back in the second T20 in Cuttack scheduled on October 5.