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IND vs SA 1st T20: ‘Surya woke up after he got hit!’

India defeat South Africa by 8 wickets. Take 1-0 lead in series.

India defeat South Africa by 8 wickets. (AP)

Surya woke up after he got hit!

“He [Suryakumar Yadav] woke up after he got hit!” KL Rahul would say later. It was a brute of a first delivery from Anrich Nortje that cut in sharply with bounce to ram into Surya’s ribcage. The next ball could have been the wicket ball but proved the jail-break moment. He was now on an off-stump guard and tried to swing a short-of-length kicker to the on side but was done in by the pace, the line, and the bounce. But the ball flew off the leading edge over third man for a six, leaving Nortje with a wry smile. Next ball, Nortje went for a yorker but sprayed it on to the pads, and Surya picked it up and over deep backward square-leg bonndary.

Before Surya’s entry, Rabada had harassed KL Rahul and picked up Rohit Sharma with a wonderful away-seamer. It lined up on the off stump, sucking Rohit into a forward defensive prod but seamed away ever so late and just about to take the edge. With 3 slips in, Kohli played and missed, connected once with a risky waft against Rabada, and then edged a short and well-outside-off ball from Nortje to the keeper.

Bavuma’ nightmarish run continues

Temba Bavuma’s bad days continue. He is the captain of South Africa T20 team but wasn’t picked by any franchises in the new domestic T20 league in South Africa. He had admitted being “very disappointed and let down”. Last time he played a T20 for South Africa, incidentally in Rajkot, he was hit on his shoulder by a bouncer from Bhuvneshwar Kumar and in the same over injured his elbow while diving to finish a run. That injury not only forced him to retire hurt from the game but ruled him out of South Africa’s tour of England.

Quinton de Kock too wasn’t on that tour of England and their replacements Riley Rossouw and Reeza Hendricks smashed runs at a brisk strike rate to put pressure back on Bavuma. They retained Rossouw and benched Hendricks to make way for Bavuma’s return this series. Tongues are already wagging in the South African media about his form and strike rate and one could sense he wanted to make an emphatic return.

He first judged the outswinger from Deepak Chahar and went for a big booming cover drive but failed to connect. Next one, another outswinger, was toe-ended back to the bowler. Then came the decisive blow via a cracking inswinger that started well outside off, landed just outside off, and went through the huge bat-and-pad gap to knock out the middle stump. Bavuma it seemed was shaping for an off drive, and then tried to adjust his bat-face to make some contact with the nipbacker but couldn’t.

Not that de Kock faired any better. He went for the big slash but for the umpteenth time in his career, he got an inside edge off Arshdeep Singh and dragged it on to his stumps.

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Which was better? Arshdeep Singh’s or Chahar’s inswinger?

Both were gems and Deepak Chahar’s was part of a longer set up to remove Temba Bavuma but as standalone deliveries, Arshdeep’s would probably just about take the contest by the barest of the margins.

Chahar’s inswinger was huge as it curved in from well outside off to take out Bavuma, but this is the thing with left-armer Arshdeep’s. When the ball left his hand, it actually shaped away a touch, and the left-handed David Miller was sucked into it. But then the ball swerved in sharply, changing course, to absolutely stun Miller, who couldn’t bring his bat in line at all.

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Chahar also does that with his inswing usually in the IPL. He pushes the ball out before bending it back in. Arshdeep did exactly that.

James Anderson explained it best once about what he does with his fingers at release depending on whether he wants inswing or outswing.“If anything I am thinking about the finger [at the release]. with the inswinger, I can push it wide of off stump with the middle finger and hopefully it will come in later. With the outswing, what I do with the (index) finger is I try to push the ball into the stumps and then it swings away later.”

“Oi! Ashwin toss it up-ra! Get a wicket in this last over!” Kris Srikkanth implores Ashwin on air

“Dei Ashwin! Thooki podu-ra, wicket vizhum da! Dei enda flat aa podurey!” Krishnamachari Srikkanth’s desperate pleas in Ashwin’s last over on Star Sports was much fun. First the translation: “Aswhin, toss it up, you will get a wicket, oi! Why are you bowling flat?!”

Ashwin had started that over with figures of 6 runs from 3 tight overs. Srikkanth offered him praise for that before saying now it’s the time to go for a wicket. The batsmen, he judged, weren’t going to play any big shots with Ashwin’s current lines. They didn’t. He kept cajoling Ashwin.. “Dei! Can’t you hear me?!” Ashwin kept slipping his quickish carrom balls to Keshav Maharaj and Srikkanth was hopeful when the left-hander Wayne Parnell came on strike for the last few balls. But nope, Ashwin hit the leg and middle line, and Parnell kept nudging them away.

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When his co-commentator asked for a reason why he thinks Ashwin is bowling that way this over, Srikkanth wouldn’t hold back. “He is playing after a long time.. he probably thinks it’s better to be safe, economical. And of course he is making his come back , I can understand he is trying to clawing his way back.. Just the last over I thought he could have gone for the wicket,” Srikkanth said.

And when Axar Patel lured Parnell into holing out at deep midwicket, Srikkanth piped up again, “that’s what Ashwin could have done in that last over”.

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He went on to suggest India should pick all three spinners for the first game of the T20 World Cup against Pakistan in Melbourne. “I would play Axar, Ashwin, and Chahal. Have Hardik as third seamer and the sixth bowler.”

First published on: 28-09-2022 at 11:10:03 pm
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