Former India pace bowler Ashish Nehra has opened up on Rishabh Pant’s captaincy, especially on his decision to hold back Axar Patel in the second T20I against South Africa on June 12. He came to bowl on in the 12th over and bowled only one over against a well-settled Heinrich Klassen, giving away 19 runs. And, the visitors eventually chased down 149 and took a 2-0 lead in the five-match T20I series as well.
However, South Africa were struggling at 29-3 after the end of the powerplay after Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s amazing spell. Yuzvendra Chahal was then introduced into the attack when both Klaasen and Temba Bavuma tried to build a partnership and Axar Patel didn’t get an over. Moreover, Pant gave Hardik Pandya and Harshal Patel an additional over whereas when Axar Patel came, the batters were well settled and it was easy to take on him. Klaasen, at that time, was batting on 31 off 24 deliveries and took on Axar Patel. He scored two fours and a six off the spinner while scoring his match-winning 81-run knock at the Barabati Stadium.
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While talking about that, Ashish Nehra said on Cricbuzz: “Changes to the playing XI, depends on the conditions in Vizag. Rishabh Pant also needs to take a look, he held back Axar Patel for so long. There were two right-hand batters at that time. I don’t see any reason why Axar Patel was not given an over at that time.”
However, Rishabh Pant used five bowlers in the powerplay while defending a huge total of 212 whereas he used three pacers in the next. Even, Avesh Khan’s spell was broken after the fourth over and Hardik Pandya bowled apart from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who also bowled his three overs in the powerplay. However, Team India will play against the same opponents in the third T20I on June 14 (Tuesday) in Vishakapatnam.
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“Avesh Khan bowled a good first over, but his spell was halted and Pandya was brought in for the fourth over. Some players think that the batters get familiar with the bowler and because of that, they change the bowler. Any bowler would wish, upon seeing that the new ball is moving around, to bowl one more over in that conditions,” Ashish Nehra concluded.