Quinton de Kock's tenure as T20 captain started on a low note when India soundly beat SA by seven wickets in the second T20 in Mohali on Wednesday.
The Proteas’ 149/5 was never going to challenge India. The SA side featured three debutants in Temba Bavuma, Anrich Nortjé and Bjorn Fortuin.
It was SA’s batting that again let them down on a slow but true IS Bindra Stadium surface where chasing is the going trend.
Rohit Sharma (12) and Shikhar Dhawan (40) got India off to a rollicking start with 33 off 3.5 overs.
Nortjé had a rude introduction to T20 international cricket with 13 creamed off his first over. It needed an Andile Phehlukwayo (1/20) change of pace to get the first wicket when he trapped Sharma plumb in front.
Virat Kohli and Dhawan embarked on a risk free 61-run second wicket stand before the former was caught by David Miller at deep long-on off Tabraiz Shamsi (1/19).
Rishabh Pant (4) holed out to Phehlukwayo off Fortuin (1/32) to leave India at 104/3 after 14 overs. Kohli (72no) was still there and having won the toss to insert the visitors, he completed the chase.
SA’s innings consisted of two acts from De Kock (52) and Bavuma (49), but there was not much in between.
Reeza Hendricks (six) was the early loss off Deepak Chahar (2/22) in the fourth over with SA on 31/1, but De Kock was the key. So long as he was in, SA’s chances of a competitive total remained high.
De Kock was happy to see off the good balls and pick boundaries off the bad ones, but Bavuma struggled in his first six balls. He signalled his intent though when he hit the game’s first six in the eighth over, hooking Hardik Pandya (1/31) over deep square leg.
Their 57-run partnership was a good platform. When SA moved to 78/1 after 10 overs, they were well primed for a late assault, while De Kock raised his 50 in 35 balls. He was gone two balls after getting to his landmark when his counterpart Kohli snared an excellent catch at mid-off off Navdeep Saini (1/34).
Rassie van der Dussen (one) did not stay long enough to impress the scorers when he chipped a return catch to Ravindra Jadeja (1/31).
Miller and Bavuma struggled to get the spinners away in the five overs they batted together. They only added 36 runs before Bavuma holed out to Jadeja at long on off Chahar. Miller (18) was castled by Pandya after a 15-ball innings that promised but delivered nothing.
It was up to Phehlukwayo (8) and Dwaine Pretorius (10) to add some respectability to the total, caning 16 off Saini’s final over.