Former India pacer Zaher Khan has said that coach Rahul Dravid needs to have a strong word with the team after India surrendered against South Africa in the second T20I match at the Barabati Stadium here on Sunday.
He added that the Indian team is lacking their trademark fighting spirit and letting their guard down when conditions are not favorable for them.
India started off well with the ball on Sunday, taking three wickets in the powerplay, but lost the momentum when a steady 64-run partnership off 41 balls between Klassen and captain Temba Bavuma stabilized South Africa. After Bavuma's departure, Klassen took over and guided South Africa to a comprehensive win, taking a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.
Heinrich Klaasen capitalized on his chance selection to smash 81 off 46 balls as South Africa beat India by four wickets in the second Twenty20 International for a 2-0 series lead in Cuttack on Sunday. Then, Klaasen, selected after Quinton de Kock sat out with a hand injury, smashed five sixes and seven sevens.
"When the (Klaasen-Bavuma) partnership was building, you could feel that the drive in the India team was going down. It was evident on the field. Those are the things Rahul Dravid and Co. need to address, and do it quickly because there is only one day in between (before the 3rd T20I). "They need to regroup, have some tough conversations, and identify what it is going to take for them to fight for 40 overs," Zaheer said in a discussion with Cricbuzz.
Defending a modest total of 148/6, India needed wickets early on and Bhuvneshwar Kumar delivered after he cleaned up Hendricks in the very first over. The decision to send Dwaine Pretorius did not reap the same reward as the first game, as he was deceived by the knuckleball of the veteran fast bowler.
A distraught skipper Rishabh Pant made no bones about the uninspiring performance of the two leading spinners, Axar Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal, urging them to come good after another meek surrender at the hands of South Africa in the second T20 international on Sunday. While Axar could be given only
In the sixth over, Bhuvneshwar picked his third wicket with the nip-backer to dismiss the dangerous Rassie van der Dussen. India kept the lid on scoring even after the fielding restrictions were lifted, reducing the Proteas to just 36/3 after the powerplay.
"Even in the first match, you thought India were in the driver's seat. Today, again, they had the ideal start with the ball. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was outstanding, but they have not been able to close out games. Some concerns for India going forward in the series and a lot of pressure, "he said.