After batting first, Indians set a stiff target of 204 runs for the opposition. The star for the Indian innings was Shikhar Dhawan (72). There were useful contributions by Virat Kohli (26) and Manish Pandey (29).
Then in the bowling department, Bhuvneshwar Kumar's career best figures of 5/24 helped India continue their domination over South Africa as the hosts could only score 175/9. With this effort India lead the three-match T20 series 1-0.
CricketNext takes a look at the performance of the Indian players from Sunday's game.
Shikhar Dhawan: Rating 9: Verdict: Very Good
The southpaw had a great ODI series, and continued the good show in the 1st T20I also. Dhawan looked in punishing mood and whacked South African bowlers all round the park. His innings of 72 runs from 39 balls involved 10 fours and two sixes. Dhawan looked good for a century, but departed in the 15th over on an Andile Phehlukwayo delivery, and was caught behind the stumps. Had he stayed on the wicket for longer India would have scored in excess of 220.
Rohit Sharma: Rating 4: Verdict: Average
The Indian opener scored a quick-fire 21 from just 9 runs. But as has been the case with him on this tour, Sharma departed after getting a good start. He smashed Dane Paterson for two sixes and a four in the very first over of the innings. In the very next over he hit Junior Dala for a boundary, but couldn't continue for very long after that. Rohit edged one of the balls from Dala, that went straight to the keeper's gloves.
Suresh Raina: Rating 4: Average
Coming back to the Indian team after a gap of one year, Suresh Raina started off his innings brilliantly. The batsman made his intentions clear by hitting Patesron for a six and a four on consecutive deliveries. In a bid to get some quick runs, Raina ended up giving a simple return-catch to Junior Dala. The stylish batsman returned to the pavilion after adding 15 runs to the Indian total. Considering this was his first innings for the Indian team, after a long-time, he could have stayed a little longer on the wicket. He was good in the field as pouched three catches.
Virat Kohli: Rating 4: Average
It was a rare failure for the Indian skipper Virat Kohli. India's run-machine could only score 26 runs in the first match. Not only that, Kohli was dropped by Farhaan Behardien when the batsman skied a ball to long-on, off Tabraiz Shamsi, early in his innings. Virat could not make the most of the second-life that was given to him, and perished soon after that when Shamsi trapped him LBW. Virat, before his dismissal did hit two fours and a six.
Manish Pandey: Rating 6: Good
Getting his first game on the tour, Manish Pandey played a good innings of 29 runs. Though Manish did not hit a lot of boundaries, he made sure that the scoreboard kept ticking. After Shikhar Dhawan got out he formed crucial partnerships with MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya, and did not give his wicket away right till the very end of the innings.
MS Dhoni: Rating 4: Average
With his diminishing ability to finish the innings with a bang, MS Dhoni could only muster 16 runs from 11 balls. In a bid to get quick runs, he got castled by a Chris Morris delivery. Apart from that he was great behind the wickets. In the match he became the man with most catches in T20—134, surpassing Kumar Sangakkara's total of 133.
Hardik Pandya: Rating 5: Verdict: Average
Pandya started well with the bat as he managed to hit an unbeaten 13 off 7 balls with 2 boundaries, but the show with the ball left a lot to be desired. 45 runs from his 4 overs with just the wicket of David Miller meant that Kohli had to bank on the others to do the job. More importantly, Pandya looked at a loss of options as the Proteas batsmen took him on. There seemed to be no Plan B up his sleeves against the onslaught and he will wish to work on that ahead of the second T20I.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar: Rating 10: Verdict: Excellent
Rested for the last ODI against South Africa, Bhuvi came back strongly in the opening ODI, having got much-deserved rest. His knuckles balls once again took the Proteas batsmen by surprise as he became the first Indian bowler to have five-fors across all formats. He said that working on his fitness has helped him keep playing for India day-in and day-out and the eagerness to do well has also seen him spend hours in the nets with the bowling coach. The variations he used on Sunday once again showed why Kohli trusts him to do the job with the ball in the shorter formats.
Yuzvendra Chahal: Rating 4: Verdict: Average
Having spun a web over the South African batsmen with spin twin Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal had a one-off bad day on the field on this South African tour on Sunday as he seemed to fail to pitch the ball in the right areas. He is a pro when it comes to the T20 format, playing for RCB in the IPL, but on Sunday he was taken to task by the Proteas batsmen as he finished with figures of 1/39 from his four overs.
Jasprit Bumrah: Rating 4: Verdict: Average
Another bowler who failed to recreate the magic that has seen his name dominate the headlines ever since the Indian team arrived in South Africa in late December. 32 runs from his 4 overs without a wicket is not something that the pacer would be used to, but on Sunday, he had to be content with no numbers in the wickets column. Bumrah did come up with a smart effort in the boundary off Hardik Pandya’s bowling, but having touched the rope while jumping to grab the ball in the air meant that the umpire handed South Africa six runs.
Jaydev Unadkat: Rating 3: Verdict: Poor
Having won the Man of the Series against Sri Lanka in the last T20I series, Unadkat came into the series with the team banking on him to deliver the goods. But the man who was bought by Rajasthan Royals for a whopping Rs11.5 crore in the auction – during the third Test between India and South Africa at the same venue – failed to rise to the challenge in the opening T20I as he gave away 33 runs from his four overs with the wicket of Andile Phehlukwayo to show. It could well be a case of failing to adjust to the right length and he would look to come back strongly in the second T20I on Wednesday at the SuperSport Park in Centurion.
Bhuvneshwar KumarIndia vs South AfricaJohannesburg T20Manish PandeyMS Dhonishikhar dhawanSouth Africa vs India 2018suresh rainavirat kohli
First Published: February 19, 2018, 11:48 AM IST