Team India and South Africa were ready to face each other in a strange game where everything was at stake. The series decider was ready to take place at the Newlands in Cape Town when a bad news surrounded India as their skipper Virat Kohli had some stiffness and was not able to feature in this all-important game.
Rohit Sharma played the role of stand-in skipper but the fortunes didn’t change as JP Duminy won yet another toss to choose bowl first for the third time in a row and made a flurry of the changes in the playing XI. On the other hand, India, too, made as many as three changes in the team with Dinesh Karthik replaced Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah came back for Jayadev Unadkat and Yuzvendra Chahal made a way for Axar Patel.
Rohit’s miserable tour (apart from the Port Elizabeth ODI) ended with another failure and he managed just 11 runs with his bat. Suresh Raina’s good form with the bat was visible with his approach to the very first ball he faced, which went sailing over leg square boundary for a six. Shikhar Dhawan was slow but playing a run-a-ball innings in the middle. Raina scored a sparkling 43-run innings in just 27 balls before getting out.
Manish Pandey got out for the first time in this T20I series after scoring 13 runs. Meanwhile, Dhawan tried to accelerate towards to the end but perished in the process.
Hardik Pandya got a promotion ahead of in-form MS Dhoni but this couldn’t change India’s fortune. The run-rate kept dipping down during the death overs. All they managed was just a double-digit on the scoreboard. Karthik came to play a cameo at the end with 13 runs in 6 balls.
India’s innings finished at 172/7 where Junior Dala was the wrecker in chief with his three-for. He dismissed Rohit Sharma, Manish Pandey and Mahendra Singh Dhoni in his spell of 3/35.
South Africa has to score 173 in their chase to win the T20 International series, which could vanish their pain of defeat in the One Day International series.