Former India player turned commentator Aakash Chopra has said that Team India’s failure to capitalize on a good start in the middle overs has become a constant problem. However, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ishan Kishan added 97 runs for the first wicket in just 10 overs in the third T20I against South Africa on Tuesday, June 14. But they kept losing wickets at regular intervals soon after and were restricted to a score of 179/5 only. But, they won the match by 48 runs.
While reflecting on the Indian batting effort in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra said: “When you have a 97-run opening partnership, what do you want from there, what do you expect, that the score should be at least doubled, minimum 200 runs should be scored. But it is becoming a perennial problem, the middle overs. Shreyas Iyer was scoring runs every time but got out to a spinner here, trying to play a big shot against Tabraiz Shamsi, I won’t blame him because he was playing the field, square leg was inside the circle, so he tried to hit a four there.”
Aakash Chopra continued: “But Rishabh Pant has been dismissed once again in a very similar fashion, trying to hit a shot towards the off side. You have seen this pattern many times. Dinesh Karthik got out but Hardik Pandya did score runs in the end, he got a life when David Miller dropped a very easy catch, and you reached 179.”
Rishabh Pant scored only six runs before getting dismissed. Karthik was also dismissed for six runs but Hardik Pandya’s unbeaten 31 off 21 deliveries took them to a decent score. While speaking about the start of the Indian innings, Aakash Chopra applauded Ruturaj Gaikwad. He also praised his batting effort where he smashed a 35-ball 57 with seven fours and two sixes as well.
“The big question was what about Ruturaj, will his reign come finally? There was a drought, we were thinking when will it rain, and it happened. When he bats like that, you realize what talent the guy has, he is absolutely sensational. He scored 57 runs off 35 balls, hit Nortje for five consecutive fours in one over, in which one ball also hit him on his head. But he is a very very good player, Ruturaj was brilliant,” Aakash Chopra concluded.