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IND vs SA, 2nd ODI Talking Points: KL Rahul The Captain Raises Concerns; Jasprit Bumrah Shines Among the Ruins

KL Rahul's captaincy raises serious concerns.

KL Rahul's captaincy raises serious concerns.

Here are the five talking points from the second ODI between India and South Africa.

India lost the ODI series after they were thrashed by a resurgent South Africa by seven wickets in Paarl. It was one-way traffic. Except Jasprit Bumrah no one showed any resistance as the likes of Quinton de Kock and Janneman Malan went about their business. It was an abject surrender and raised serious questions on KL Rahul the captain, who instead of rallying his troops went mum in a crisis. We take a look at the five talking points from the second ODI.

Pant Stars with the Bat: You can term him casual, you can call him irritating (thanks to his unusual chirps from behind the wicket), when he gets going, he just bats opposition out. Pant came under a lot of criticism in the second Test match, but then answered his critics with the bat in the third. Pant blows hot, he blows cold. For instance, in the first ODI, Pant got out when the chase was just beginning. So, he made sure he was at his ruthless best in a couple of days time as he attacked Tabraiz Shamsi right from the word ‘go.’ He used his sweeps effectively before he was holed out in the deep. During his 85-run knock, he also played some one-handed stunners which went for maximum. So much for hand power!

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Shardul Thakur’s Cameo: Shardul has a nickname. ‘Beefy’ and there is a reason for it. Coming out from Mumbai Khadoos school of cricket, he is mentally tough to take on new challenges. One such challenge came against South Africa after India were reduced to 209/5. The game was heading for the death overs and India needed someone to play the aggressor. Cometh the hour cometh the man! Thakur swung his bat and connected as he raced to 40 off just 38 balls. He alongside Ashwin made sure India post a respectable total of 288. It must be mentioned that Shardul had hit a fifty in the losing cause earlier on Wednesday.

KL Rahul’s Captaincy Raises Questions: Amidst all of this, KL Rahul’s captaincy raised several questions. As the team struggled to pick wickets, Rahul, unlike Virat, went mum and just froze. It was Rishabh Pant who was doing all the shouting as the going went tough. The new captain should have taken the initiative and rallied his troops, instead he just went into his own shell. And this is not the first time. Even in Jo’Burg, he was criticized by former players for being on the back-foot. Besides, his tactics also came under questioning. Venkatesh Iyer wasn’t given the ball at all in first match. In second match, he got the ball well after the 20th over of the innings. Instead of pushing Ravi Ashwin and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, he could have tried his hands on something unusual. As Quinton de Kock went after Indian bowlers, Rahul panicked and quickly brought Ashwin who bowled a good couple of overs before eventually losing his way.

Quinton De Kock Sends India on Leather Hunt: Quinton de Kock knows Indian bowlers inside out. Back in 2013, in his debut year, he had slammed three successive hundreds against India. Cut to 2022, and nothing seems to have changed. De Kock started cautiously against Bumrah and exploded against Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He quickly raced to his fifty in 38 balls and then dropped the anchor to guide his team through. Meanwhile, he also accounted for an excellent stumping of Venkatesh Iyer earlier.

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Bumrah Shines Among the Ruins: Although Indian bowlers went for a lot of runs, there was an exception to the rule and that was Jasprit Bumrah. In his ten overs, he gave away just 37 runs and also took a wicket. Compare this to Bhuvneshwar Kumar who gave away 67 and didn’t even complete his quota of overs. His back-of-hand slow ball saw Malan losing his stumps. And this is a well set batter we are talking about. He changed his pace cunningly to suffocate the batters, he just couldn’t get the cooperation from his fellow bowlers.

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first published:January 22, 2022, 08:00 IST