“Shreyas Iyer, Ravi Bishnoi…Missed Something?” Questions Raised On India’s 2nd T20I Selection

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After a washed-out first T20I, the touring Indian cricket team in South Africa resumed their journey towards perfecting their combination in the second T20I in Gqeberha. The series is one of the few T20I assignments that India will play before the 2024 T20 World Cup next year. And the Indian cricket team management are trying to maximise their return, in terms of planning while keeping in mind the long-term goal from the series. The Indian cricket team combination had some interesting choices.

While Ruturaj Gaikwad, the centurion for India vs Australia in a recent T20I series, missed the match due to illness, the side also had two notable omissions in Shreyas Iyer and Ravi Bishnoi. Shreyas Iyer was the vice-captain for the last two T20Is against Australia, while Ravi Bishnoi impressed with his leg-spin against Australia. Their absence led former Indian cricket team opener Aakash Chopra to make an interesting comment.

“Any news on Iyer and Bishnoi’s availability?? Iyer was VC in the last series. And Bishnoi was the player of the series. I seemed to have missed something?? #IndvSA,” Aakash Chopra posted on his X account.

Talking about the match, Rinku Singh enhanced his credentials as a finisher with a maiden half-century while skipper Suryakumar Yadav played in his inimitable way to take India to 180 for seven in the second T20 International against South Africa on Tuesday.

Put in to bat, India lost Yashasvi Jaiswal (0) and Shubman Gill (0) for six runs before Surya (56 off 36) led front the front and forged fine partnerships with Tilak Varma (29 off 20) and then Rinku (68 not out off 39).

Rain arrived at St George’s Park with three balls left in the innings and Gerald Coetzee on a hat trick, having got rid of Ravindra Jadeja and Arshdeep Singh. The innings did not resume thereafter and South Africa were set a revised target of 152 in 15 overs. Playing for the first time in South Africa, Rinku took his time initially before working the field beautifully. His square of the wicket shots stood out in his well paced innings including fours and two straight sixes off Aiden Markram.

Coming in at number three, Varma looked good in the middle before getting caught at deep third man in the sixth over.

What followed was a 70-run stand between Surya and Rinku. Surya played like he usually does, collecting a chunk of his runs behind the wicket.

His three sixes came as he got inside the line of the ball to send the ball over the ropes. Two were in the fine leg region and one over midwicket. It was not the smoothest of starts for India, who lost Jaiswal and Gill in the first two overs.

Jaiswal could not control the cut shot against Marco Jansen to be brilliantly caught by David Miller at backward point.

Varma could have departed in similar fashion two balls later but Miller could not hold on to that sharp chance.

Gill was trapped in front by Lizaad Williams who got the ball to nip back from length. Despite the initial pressure, the Indian batters kept batting aggressively.

With PTI inputs

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