Thiruvananthapuram, September 28: India defeated South Africa by 8 wickets to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series here at the Greenfield Stadium on Wednesday (September 28).
The foundation for India’s smooth win was laid by their new ball pacers Arshdeep Singh and Deepak Chahar.
The India pacers generated excellent swing at this venue, where the pitch also offered some carry, to reduce the SA to 9 for 5 in no time.
It is always tough to recover from such situations and South Africa did not either. In the end, the Proteas managed to scrape past the 100-run mark.
By any stretch of imagination, it was not a target to challenge the India batters but a spot on bowling attack and a slightly two-paced wicket meant India had to work hard for their runs while chasing.
However, they accomplished the task without too much ado.
1. List of Awards (Rs 1 lakh)
Strongest player: Wayne Parnell
Game Changer: Suryakumar Yadav
Man of the match: Arshdeep Singh
2. Post-match presentation, comments
Temba Bavuma, SA Captain: “As a batting unit we failed to apply ourselves in those conditions. We didn't expect the pitch to play this way. Yes we expected it to be spicy but normally you will be able to hit through the line in this part of the world. Seamers needed runs behind then to defend. They tried their best and supported by spinners as well. I thought we fought well late with the bat. That's a positive.”
KL Rahul, India batter: “Definitely, right up there in terms of being a tough pitch. We have played in some difficult conditions like this but I haven't got runs, so this was hard work. 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. We did practice here yesterday and that was a humbling experience as well, we all came in prepared mentally as it was not going to be an easy wicket and I was ready to do the dirty work, ready to be challenged and get the job done for the team.
He's (Arshdeep) growing with each game and with each outing he gets better, he is somebody who has a big heart and I have seen him in close quarters while playing in the IPL. This season what he did for his franchise was phenomenal and to be the number one death bowler in a team which has Rabada speaks highly of him. We always want a left-arm seamer and it is great to have someone like Arshdeep.”
Rohit Sharma, India Captain: “The wicket was tricky. You learn a lot playing such a game. It was nice to play a game like that. We knew the bowlers will get something seeing grass on the pitch, but we didn't expected help for the full 20 overs. It was still damp. Both teams were in contest and the team that played better won the game.
“We started well, got 5 wickets in quick time and that was the turning point. Perfect showcase of how to bowl when there is help for the pacers. We knew it wasn't going to be easy. Got to respect the conditions. Lost two wickets and that partnership between KL and Surya”
Arshdeep Singh, Man of The Match: “I enjoyed the wicket of David Miller a lot because I dismissed him with an in-swinger after bowling a couple of out swingers. I got some rest during the Australia series, and worked on certain areas at the NCA. Now, I feel better and refreshed. Hopefully, I can continue to contribute to the team’s success.”