Ind vs SA 2nd Twenty20 : India battle to stay alive while SA look to clinch series

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India and South Africa face off in the second Twenty20 in Bhubaneswar
India and South Africa face off in the second Twenty20

Indian opener Rohit Sharma is disappointed that his maiden T20I century went in vain, but maintained that  they would come back all guns blazing to stay alive in the three-match cricket series against South Africa in Cuttack .Rohit’s 106 had propelled India to 199/5 after being put into bat, but the the Faf du Plessis-led side romped home by seven wickets in Dharamsala to lead the series 1-0. 

“It was a good knock but we lost the game. I am pretty disappointed, it was unfortunate. No matter how much you scored, if you don’t win, your efforts are not counted, nothing really matters to me. “I’m sure we will come back strong. Overall, there’s a room for improvement, I’m sure the guys have learnt from it and they will come back stronger. We have to do a lot of things right whether it’s batting or bowling, and come out all guns blazing,” Rohit told mediapersons on the eve of their second T20I at Barabati Stadium.

India opted for a three plus two seam-spin combination for the first game and barring off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin all the other bowlers conceded 10-plus runs an over. Rohit said India opted for a three seam attack because of the green top but the dew took it away from them.

“There was a little bit of grass covering on the wicket and we thought there would be a bit of more seam movement but the dew took it away. “I know they’re not too experienced but it’s the same with the South African attack. But when you play these kind of tournaments, you grow as a cricketer,” he said. “Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) has played quite a bit of late, Mohit has been a part of the team for a while now. (Sreenath) Aravind has just come in but he has been a proven character in domestic circuit.

“We cannot take credit away from seamers but the dew made it difficult. Overall, there’s a room for improvement, I’m sure the guys have learnt from it and they will come back stronger,” he added. Left-arm spinner Axar Patel conceded 22 runs in the 16th over to turn the tide for Proteas but Rohit backed their young bowlers.

“Our spinners are experienced enough, understood the line and length to bowl. We have to wait and see what the management thinks about how to go about it,” he said replying to a query whether three-spin attack is the way forward.

“These guys know what exactly is expected from them. I’m sure they are trying their best to come out (of the loss), take wickets and be aggressive. Sometimes, things don’t go your way. Dew made it difficult but don’t want to look it an excuse.”

The stadium was under a pool of water after rain and thundershowers in the afternoon when the team landed in State capital Bhubaneswar. Going into the match, there would be concern over the ground conditions. The Met department has also forecast a few spells of rain in the next 48 hours and possibility of a curtailed match cannot be ruled out.

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