The South Africans were all-over the Indian spinners while chasing 149 in the second T20I in Cuttack on Sunday. After Bhuvneshwar Kumar rattled the Proteas top order with three wickets in the powerplay, Heinrich Klassen and visiting captain Temba Bavuma teamed up to steer the chase to ensure a 4-wicket win.
India’s seasoned campaigner Yuzvendra Chahal may have cleaned up Bavuma in the 13th over but got hit for 23 runs in the 16th. The wrist-spinner also received a harsh treatment from the likes of David Miller and Klassen in the later overs as he returned with the figures of 1/49.
Chahal recently had a remarkable season in IPL 2022 where he bagged the Purple Cap with 23 wickets in his pocket. However, he hasn’t been that effective in the ongoing series against South Africa. Meanwhile, former India opener Gautam Gambhir questioned Chahal’s approach in the game, stating that the 30-year-old didn’t vary his pace and emphasised bowling tight.
Speaking on Star Sports network, ex-India batter felt that Chahal is an attacking bowler and must bowl like one.
“It’s very important to vary your pace. If Chahal thinks ‘I’ll bowl tight and get wickets’, it’s not going to happen. That’s the job of a left-arm spinner. A finger spinner is your defensive bowler but a wrist spinner is your attacking option. He (Chahal) needs to have an attacking mindset. He can give 50 runs in four overs. But if he picks up three wickets, he can take the team to a situation from where it can win the match. But if he concedes 40-50 runs and gets just one wicket, it’s a problem,” Gambhir told Star Sports after the game.
“He needs to bowl slow and tempt the batter. No issues if he gets his for a couple of sixes. In the second T20I, none of the SA batters tried to step out against Chahal. They were hitting the leg-spinner from the crease, which means he (Chahal) was trying to bowl it fast. We expect those kinds of deliveries from Axar, not Chahal,” he further added.
Notably, Chahal has been pretty expensive in the first two games against South Africa. In Delhi, he bowled 2.1 overs, conceding 26 with no wickets to his credit. So far, he has given 75 runs in 6.1 overs in 2 matches.