India faced difficult conditions on Wednesday to go after 107 to win the first T20I against South Africa, with a 1-0 lead in the three-game series. In a tricky field in Thiruvananthapuram where the sailors got a lot of help, especially with the new ball swinging precariously, Arshdeep Singh and Deepak Chahar led India’s attack as South Africa was limited to 106/8. KL Rahul then dropped anchor as India chased the target to take an 8 wicket win.
However, the India opener came under the scanner due to its low success rate. Rahul, for the record, made 51 of 56 deliveries, raising his half-century with the match-winning six.
However, former India opener Aakash Chopra quickly rushed to Rahul’s defense.
“The criticism of KL Rahul’s batting approach last night was seriously misplaced…there’s a reason the opponents only scored 106 in 20 overs and your team was 2 for not much,” Chopra tweeted.
The criticism of KL Rahul’s batting approach last night was seriously misplaced… there’s a reason the opponents only scored 106 in 20 overs and your team trailed 2 for not much. It was a knock of the highest quality from KLR as he chose to fight it out. Well played #IndvSA
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) September 29, 2022
“It was a top quality knockout from KLR as he chose to fight it out. Well played,” he added.
While Rahul played the part of the anchor, Suryakumar Yadav came in after the wickets of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli and put the pressure on the South African bowlers, crushing an unbeaten 50 from 33 deliveries.
South Africa’s 106/8 score in itself was a remarkable feat after they were at 9/5 after 2.3 overs when Arshdeep and Chahar rioted with the new ball.
Arshdeep finished with three wickets while Chahar took two.
But punches from Aiden Markram (25), Wayne Parnell (24) and Keshav Maharaj (41) helped the visitors recover from the early collapse and brought a respectable total to the board.
South Africa also started well with the ball as Kagiso Rabada roped India captain Rohit Sharma for a duck before Anrich Nortje sent Virat Kohli for 3.
However, Rahul and Suryakumar took half a century to take India home in 16.4 overs.
Topics mentioned in this article