IND vs SA: 3 changes India need to make to get back to winning ways

South Africa chased down a mammoth total in the first T20I to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

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India. (Photo by Pankaj Nangia/Gallo Images)

Manoj Kumar
MANOJ KUMAR

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After a disappointing start to the five-match T20I series for India, a few tactical changes are expected to take place ahead of the second T20I at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack. The home side posted a massive total of 211 on the board in their 20 overs on the back of Ishan Kishan’s 76 off 48 after losing the toss at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi. Hardik Pandya played a good hand of an unbeaten 12-ball 31 to provide the final kick while Ruturaj Gaikwad and Shreyas Iyer could not convert their solid starts into a big score.

Chasing a huge total, it looked like India had the upper hand as David Miller (64*) was the only one who looked threatening to take the game away for the Proteas until the last five overs. However, Rassie van der Dussen (75*) who struggled in the early part of his innings made up for his slow start and cut loose in the end. The Indian bowlers had no answers to the assault from the South African duo and it was quite a finish from both the batters.

India had a lot of positives with their excellent start in the powerplay, and building on to their good start by going after the spinners in the middle overs. They managed to rectify some of the areas they have been trying to improve from the last few series, however, the bowling department looked toothless in the previous game. Here are –

3 changes India needs to make to get back to winning ways in 2nd T20I

1. Using Yuzvendra Chahal’s full quota wisely

Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

One of the main reasons behind India’s downfall in the previous game against South Africa was the underutilization of Yuzvendra Chahal. The leg spinner bowled just two overs in the first T20 International despite having the ability to turn around games with crucial wickets. He went for 26 runs in his 2.1 overs and did not have a major impact on the game.

Chahal finished as the top wicket-taker this season in IPL 2022 and he has been in terrific form as well. He could have been a lot more effective had he finished his full quota and more often gets his name in the wickets column even if he goes for runs. Skipper Rishabh Pant needs to be a lot wiser when he brings Chahal into the game for the second T20I.

The 31-year-old also will be looking to take advantage of the conditions in Cuttack, where the pitch has been quite slow traditionally. He can get those wide loopy deliveries outside the off-stump and likes the challenge against right-handers especially.

2. Ravi Bishnoi in place of Axar Patel

Ravi Bishnoi
Ravi Bishnoi (Photo source : Twitter)

Axar Patel did not look like making an impact in the previous game despite picking up the wicket of Quinton de Kock and conceding 40 runs in his four overs. The left-arm seamer wasn’t needed with the bat, and he was taken to the cleaners by David Miller as well during his bowling display.

India has the likes of Ravi Bishnoi in the dugout who was quite impressive in his first international series against West Indies and he has been a wicket-taking option in the IPL as well. With two-leg spinners operating in the middle overs, it gives the captain the luxury to strangle the opponent’s run rate as well as go for the wickets.

Although the inclusion of Bishnoi might not give the batting depth, certainly it will be more of having enough faith in the six batters and going in with five pure bowlers with Hardik Pandya as the sixth option. Harshal Patel can bat at seven if he has recovered from his niggle, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar can be handy at number eight if Bishnoi needs to be included in place of all-rounder Axar.

3. Umran Malik’s pace threat inclusion

Umran Malik
Umran Malik. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Avesh Khan’s medium pace looked the most threatening among the Indian bowlers despite not taking any wickets and he almost picked up the important wicket of Rassie van der Dussen when the catch was dropped by Shreyas Iyer. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Harshal did take wickets but never looked like settling in and conceded a lot of boundaries.

Umran Malik‘s raw pace will always be lethal and he is yet to be unleashed in international cricket. The right-arm quick has the ability to clock speeds above 150 kmph consistently, and he could come in for one of the seamers, Bhuvneshwar Kumar or Harshal Patel (given his niggle). The 22-year-old can be the X-Factor needed for India in the bowling line-up for the second game.

Also, with the T20 World Cup 2022 coming up in Australia, it will be important for the side to give enough game time to Malik who can make a huge difference. He has got the ability to hit the toe-crushing yorkers and he had a great IPL season with the Sunrisers Hyderabad having worked with the likes of Dale Steyn in the coaching setup.