KL Rahul, the Indian opener anchored India’s chase against South Africa on a tricky pitch in the 1st T20I at Thiruvananthapuram. The first T20I between India and South Africa was a low-scoring thriller with the hosts prevailing by eight wickets in the end.
Pacers Arshdeep Singh (3/32) and Deepak Chahar (2/24) made the white ball talk with some incisive swing bowling that restricted South Africa to 106/8. However, the chase was not a cakewalk but KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav scored half-centuries to take India over the line in 16.4 overs.
KL Rahul Reckons Aggressive Suryakumar Yadav Helped Him To Take His Time And Play One End
On a pitch with underlying moisture and more than waist-high bounce at times, the batters struggled and KL Rahul explained it after the match.
Chasing 107 to win the game and go 1-0 up in the three-T20I series, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada and Wayne Parnell made the Indian batters work hard for their runs. The experienced batters Rohit Sharma (0) and Virat Kohli (3) failed to get going as Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje got rid of them using the bounce of the Greenfield pitch.
“Definitely, right up there (as the toughest pitch). We have played in some difficult conditions like this but I haven’t got runs, so this was hard work, ” said KL Rahul.
Suryakumar Yadav (50 not out in 33 balls) relieved the pressure caused by opener KL Rahul (51 not out, 56 balls) as India won the game in 16.4 overs and took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Much of the credit for India’s win has to go to the bowlers as Deepak Chahar (2/24) and Arshdeep Singh (3/32), with two wickets by Harshal Patel and one by Axar Patel kept South Africa to 106/8.
“It was unbelievable for Surya to come out there and play those shots, we have seen how balls were flying, nipping around, two-paced and everything that can be hard for a batter that was the wicket today, and for Surya to come with that approach after the first ball that hit him, he just woke up and wanted to play his shots, be aggressive and take on the bowling. That helped me take my time and play one end,” KL Rahul said after the match.
The 32-year-old Suryakumar Yadav scored a half-century off just 33 balls while on the other hand, KL Rahul’s struggles continued as he failed to get any sort of momentum going in his innings. The India vice-captain KL Rahul finished the match with a six and brought up his half-century but it took him 56 balls to get there.
KL Rahul Reckons One Has To Do Ice Bath And Play On Wickets Like The 1st T20I Despite Not Enjoying It
KL Rahul admitted that it was quite difficult for him to bat on the tricky Trivandrum surface in the first T20I against South Africa. Having branded the pitch ‘toughest’ he has played on, KL Rahul said that he would need to take a long ice bath to overcome the fatigue.
“Long ice bath today. Ice baths and wickets like these is not something we enjoy, but we have to do it sometimes, ” said KL Rahul.
The pitch that former India head coach Ravi Shastri on air termed “not ideal for T20 cricket” had batters of both teams finding it difficult to cope with both pace and movement.