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WATCH: ‘It wasn’t our best effort,’ says Proteas skipper Temba Bavuma after India win third T20I

South Africa's captain Temba Bavuma (C) walks back to the pavilion after his dismissal during the third Twenty20 international cricket match against India at the Y S Rajasekhara Reddy International Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday

South Africa's captain Temba Bavuma (C) walks back to the pavilion after his dismissal during the third Twenty20 international cricket match against India at the Y S Rajasekhara Reddy International Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday. Photo: Surjeet Yadav/AFP

Published Jun 14, 2022

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Cape Town — Proteas captain Temba Bavuma has admitted his team were off the mark in the 48-run defeat to India in the third T20I in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday evening.

The Proteas were hoping to seal the series after winning the first two matches, but they now head to Rajkot for the fourth T20I with the hosts having resurrected their chances.

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India’s batters posted a competitive 179/5 before bowling out South Africa for 131. The visitors’ run-chase lacked any substantial partnerships, and while there were four individual scores of 20-plus nobody took on the responsibility of playing a major innings.

ALSO READ: Yuzvendra Chahal spins out Proteas as India win third T20I

This was unlike India that started off well through half-centuries from openers Ruturaj Gaikwad (57) and Ishan Kishan (54). The pair posted 97 for the first wicket in just 10 overs.

Equally, India’s bowling unit were much better collectively with new-ball bowler Bhuvuneshwar Kumar (1/21) setting the tone upfront before leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal (3/20) strangled the Proteas middle-order. Death specialist Harsha Patel (4/25) then completed the job with career-best figures.

“As a collective, it wasn't our best effort. They were the better side. With the ball, they put us under pressure. The fielding really didn't back us up. With the batting, we didn't really turn up. The partnerships weren't there, there was no momentum,” Bavuma said.

“There have been a lot of improvements in the fielding department, this game we weren't up to the mark, in the first two games we were quite strong. We tried to assess, tried to get some momentum, unfortunately we couldn't do that. Losing three early wickets always puts us under pressure.”

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Meanwhile, Indian captain Rishabh Pant praised his bowlers, particularly the spinners, for an improved showing after being under pressure by the Proteas batters in the first two matches in Dehli and Cuttack.

“The execution was spot-on from the bowlers and the batters. We were 15 runs short, but we weren't thinking about that. Bowlers did a fantastic job for us. In India, spinners play a big role and there is pressure on them, when they come off nicely then matches like this happen. When you get a good start, it's difficult for a new batter to come in and go big straightaway,” Pant said.

South Africa will be hoping to have Aiden Markram back in the side in Rajkot after the World’s No 2 T20I batter was forced to miss the first three matches due to testing positive for Covid-19 last week.

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His return is potentially crucial to the Proteas’ chances with the visitors also missing Quinton de Kock after the wicket-keeper/batter suffered a hand injury during the first T20I in Delhi.

@ZaahierAdams

IOL Sport

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