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India vs South Africa, 3rd T20I in Cape Town: Team India Report Card

Team India (AFP)

Team India (AFP)

Cricketnext takes a look at the performance of each and every Indian player who played the third T20I on Saturday.

New Delhi: Suresh Raina and Shikhar Dhawan starred with the bat but it was Bhuvneshwar Kumar who again held his nerve in the end as India sealed the T20I series with a sensational 2-1 win over South Africa in Cape Town on Saturday. Stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma credited the bowlers for all the success after he felt that the Indian total was 15 short of what the team management would have liked at the Newlands Stadium.

Cricketnext takes a look at the performance of each and every Indian player who played the third T20I on Saturday.

Shikhar Dhawan: Rating 9: Verdict: Very Good

Shikhar Dhawan has been in scintillating form right through the limited-overs series against the Proteas and he finished off in the same manner as he hit a 40-ball 47 to provide the team with the start it needed after losing stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma early once again. Yes, he did take time to hit the boundaries and he got two chances, but all that doesn’t count at the end of the day when the team benefits from your innings.

Rohit Sharma: Rating 2: Verdict: Poor

Standing in for regular skipper Virat Kohli (out with a bad back), Rohit Sharma was expected to play a pivotal role with the bat and give the team a quality start. But once again, he flattered to deceive as he hit two boundaries to finish with 11 from 8 balls. His leadership was decent and with MS Dhoni behind the wicket to guide him from time to time, Rohit ensured that there was no let-up on the field. But the opener needs to score some runs to get his confidence back.

Suresh Raina: Rating 9: Verdict: Very Good

Comeback man Suresh Raina has been striking the ball well and on Saturday too he showed a lot of intent as he started with a bang to finish with 43 off just 27 balls. He has made it clear that showing intent in the first six overs is important in the T20 game and these couple of innings could well bring him right back in the set-up for the 2019 World Cup as the Indian team needs someone with his experience in the middle-order. Just like his batting, he pitched in with the ball as well and picked the crucial wicket of dangerman David Miller.

Manish Pandey: Rating 4: Verdict: Average

Getting a promotion in the batting order with Kohli out with injury, this was the opportune moment for Pandey to make it count and back his claim for a position up in the batting order. But he failed to grab the opportunity and departed with 6 more overs to go and the platform set for a finish with a flourish. He did manage to hit a six, but there wasn’t much that came post that.

Hardik Pandya: Rating 8: Verdict: Good

It was a true all-round effort from the man who Virat Kohli believes has the potential to stitch the Indian batting and bowling together in times to come. A 17-ball 21 in the backend of the Indian innings and figures of 1/22 from 4 overs on a night when the bowlers were taken to the cleaners does show application from the youngster. But consistency has been a major issue with the talented player and he needs to start impressing more often to keep away the critics.

MS Dhoni: Rating 5: Verdict: Average

One of those games where Mahendra Singh Dhoni didn’t really have much to do. Batting first, he got out trying to up the ante in the 19th over of the innings for a 11-ball 12 and then he didn’t really have much work behind the wicket on Saturday as it was more about guiding the young Indian bowlers and the stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma.

Dinesh Karthik: Rating 5: Verdict: Average

Another batsman who did not have much to do and there was very little time left when he came out to bat. But he did his bit as he hit a 6-ball 13 before he was caught plumb in front by Chris Morris in the last over of the innings. Karthik has not had too many opportunities, so it would be harsh to be too critical.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar: Rating 10: Verdict: Excellent

Bhuvneshwar Kumar started with a wicket in the Test series at the Newlands Stadium in Cape Town on January 5 against South Africa and ironically finished with a wicket with the last ball of the T20I series against the Proteas at the same venue on Saturday night to end what has been an immensely successful tour of India. And the man who sparkled right through the Test, ODI and T20I series was Bhuvneshwar and it was only poetic justice that he won the Man of the Series award. He has been the man who has impressed most and held his nerve once again in the final T20I to take India home.

Axar Patel: Rating 0: Verdict: Very Poor

Having warmed the bench so far due to Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal’s consistent showing so far, Axar needed to grab this opportunity with both hands to cement his place as the third spinner in the team. But all he managed was to give away 16 runs from the lone over that he got in the game. South Africa’s stand-in skipper for the series got stuck into him and the left-arm spinner looked short of ideas.

Shardul Thakur: Rating 5: Verdict: Average

Shardul Thakur has impressed in patches and on Saturday too he did look good, but not in the way that the likes of Bhuvi or Bumrah have impressed. Shardul still does need to up his game and work on certain areas if he wants to make it from the bench to the team on a regular basis. But the fact that he held his nerve and picked the all-important wicket of Duminy shows that he has it in him to shine at this level.

Jasprit Bumrah: Rating 3: Verdict: Poor

He started off really well with the red ball, did decently well in the ODIs as well. But the finishing would be something that Bumrah would not be too proud about. It was an opportunity to sign off on a high for the pacer, but he was the most expensive Indian bowler after Axar, giving away 39 runs from his 4 overs. He did pick the wicket of Chris Morris, but then, when the team is defending just 172, the frontline bowler needs to be a little more disciplined.