Despite posting a massive 211/4 on the board in the recently-concluded first T20I against South Africa, Team India failed to defend the total and faced a 7-wicket defeat at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi.
Under the new leadership of Rishabh Pant, the ‘Men in Blue’ were on the cusp of a huge T20 World Record of winning 13 matches on the trot – a feat no team has achieved. But, the pair of Rassie van der Dussen and David Miller ruined the hosts’ plans and steered Proteas to their highest successful chase in the shortest format.
During the game, a few decisions of Pant raised eyebrows as both fans and experts questioned his captaincy tactics. Former Indian pacer Ashish Nehra also raised concerns, saying he was surprised to see Yuzvendra Chahal bowling only two overs in the Thursday night fixture.
Notably, Chahal, who recently won the purple cap in IPL 2022, bowled just 13 deliveries and conceded 26 runs. However, Nehra opined that the leg-spinner should have bowled to the Van der Dussen-Miller pair when they were trying to build the partnership.
“Rishabh Pant is a young captain, he will learn, and hopefully, he will get better. Now, if Dravid feels that Chahal should bowl an over, obviously, a message can be sent. They have to keep things simple and be proactive. It is surprising that a bowler like him only bowled 2 overs today. He should have bowled to the van der Dussen-Miller pair, especially at the stage when South Africa were back in the chase. Rishabh Pant surely made a mistake over there. He also was frantic in the powerplay, using five bowlers for six overs,” Nehra told Cricbuzz.
“He only bowled 2 overs today. Sometimes teams hold back leg spinners because there is a left-hander batting. It is important to keep a wicket-taking option in the middle overs. If you have to stop a top-quality International batter, you will have to take his wicket, defensive bowling won’t work,” he added.