India versus South Africa 2nd T20 turned out to be a rather damp squib, despite all the hype going into the match. India were bowled out for a paltry 92 in 17.4 overs, courtesy some genuinely incisive bowling by the South African fast bowlers. Their batsmen then chased the target down in the 18th over, and won handsomely by 6 wickets. Here are the talking points that have come up after the game.
#1. Indian cricket needs a T20 policy
India are currently placed 2nd in the T20 rankings, but their lackluster attitude towards this format in the last few years belie such a rank. Despite IPL growing into one of the behemoths of global cricket, Indian cricket has more or less been reluctant to prepare a full proof strategy for T20 internationals. Virtually same set of players are put on show in all formats, and rarely are the new faces seen for any significant length of time. Such stagnancy was evident yet again when last match’s debutant Aravind was dropped in favour of the ‘more experienced’ Mohit Sharma today.
#2. Ashwin – The Lone Ranger
Ravichandran Ashwin more or less sums up India’s meagre bowling resources, which is often brutally highlighted in T20s. India vs South Africa 2nd T20 was a classic example of such over-reliance on the off spinner. The other bowlers had appeared to be mute spectators in the face of South African batting firepower in the last game also.
#3. T20 Specialists needed
One cannot expect to win T20s, ODIs and Tests with the same set of batsmen and bowlers, all across the globe. While youngsters like Karun Nair, Sanju Samson and Mandeep Singh are graying their hair playing inconsequential matches for India A, the national team still persists with an orthodox team combination. This clearly nullifies the role of the IPL in Indian cricket. Evidently, the logical next step for IPL stars is supposed to be T20 internationals. This is clearly not manifested in Indian cricket! For example, the presence of a worn-out Harbhajan Singh in the bowling department for a T20 game defies logic.