Team India, under the new leadership of Rishabh Pant, are on the edge of losing the ongoing home T20I series after losing the second T20I against South Africa in Cuttack on Sunday.
Despite posting only 148/6, the hosts did manage to put pressure on the Proteas by reducing them to 29/3 in the powerplay. However, the visitors ended up chasing the target in the final over thanks to Heinrich Klaasen‘s heroics, who scored 81 off 46 balls.
After the defeat, former India pacer Zaheer Khan shared his analysis on the game and reckoned India have to find a way to capitalise on the platforms they create. Notably, India managed to take three wickets in the powerplay, courtesy of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who bagged all three wickets. But the home team failed to take advantage of thereon and lost the contest.
“That is the worry. You are creating a platform from where you can win a game of cricket, but you are not able to close it. When this happens, your morale and the processes which you are following gets damaged. That is what you don’t want right now with a big World Cup coming up,” said Zaheer on Cricbuzz.
Zaheer stressed the absence of some key players and mentioned the hosts still have to bring their ‘A Game’ onto the field. Notably, India are missing a number of their regulars like skipper Rohit Sharma, star batter Virat Kohli and frontline speedster Jasprit Bumrah.
“You want to make a habit of winning games regardless of who is taking the field. I know that key players are not part of the series. You still have a brand of cricket which you have been playing and created those platforms for and to win games, and you are not able to close it. The culture in the team is very important to protect. It’s not going to be easy to go and win all three games coming up. It is a good challenge as well. You have a day of travel, and then you take the field, it’s not going to be easy,” he added.