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Proteas’ T20 team ‘still a work in progress’, says Keshav Maharaj after series decider abandoned

South Africa's Keshav Maharaj (L) and India's Rishabh Pant pose for pictures as they share the trophy after rains interrupted the fifth and Twenty20 international cricket match at the at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Sunday. Photo: Manjunath Kiran/AFP

South Africa's Keshav Maharaj (L) and India's Rishabh Pant pose for pictures as they share the trophy after rains interrupted the fifth and Twenty20 international cricket match at the at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Sunday. Photo: Manjunath Kiran/AFP

Published Jun 19, 2022

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Cape Town — Stand-in captain Keshav Maharaj believes the Proteas remain “a work in progress” building to the T20 World Cup later this year in Australia.

Maharaj was speaking after the series-decider against India in Bengaluru was abandoned due to rain. The Proteas had won the first two matches of the series before the hosts roared back convincing victories in the last two games in Vizag and Rajkot.

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“Very disappointed we didn't get a full game for the end of an exciting tour. We started pretty well, pity we could not see the outcome. We can't control the weather. We tried a few combinations. Still a work in progress for Australia,” said Maharaj, who was deputising for the injured Temba Bavuma.

The Proteas made three changes to their line-up with Reeza Hendricks, Kagiso Rabada and young Tristan Stubbs all returning to the starting XI. The major omission was, of course, left-arm wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi with Maharaj tasked with the sole spinning duties.

The left-arm spinner stated that South Africa will continue to experiment with the balance of their team in the upcoming T20I series against England and Ireland.

“You may still see changes. I am sure the future series will be interesting like this one. We were disappointed with our performance in the last two games. We carried our confidence from past tours at the same time we didn't want to take anything for granted,” he said.

Meanwhile, Indian captain Rishabh Pant was positive the way his young team responded to being 2-0 down early in the series, especially considering they had rested plenty of regulars for this series.

“There are a lot of positives. The way the team showed character from 0-2 down was a huge positive. We are in a nice spot as we are finding different ways to win the game,” Pant said.

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Indian opening bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar was named Player of the Series for his excellent new-ball spells throughout the four previous matches.

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