Town - As the Proteas look
to resurrect after a dismal 2019 World Cup campaign, Enoch Nkwe will
already have questions over the make-up of his top order following Wednesday's
crushing seven-wicket loss
to India in
In his first assignment as
interim team director, Nkwe looked on as South Africa were comfortably
outplayed by their hosts.
With the first of three T20Is
washed out on Sunday, the Proteas are 1-0 down in the series with Sunday's
finale in Bangalore to come.
The Proteas, quite simply, never
got anywhere near posting a competitive enough total with debutant Temba Bavuma (49
off 43) and veteran David
Miller (18 off 15) gobbling up too many deliveries with
not enough reward at the back-end of the innings.
By the end of their 20 overs,
South Africa had carded a modest 149/5 and
it was never going to be enough.
Skipper Quinton de Kock's 52 (37) was
the clear highlight after the Proteas were asked to bat, and what happened
after he was dismissed revealed exactly how much work this new-look side has
ahead if they are to realistically challenge at the T20 World Cup in Australia
in October next year.
Here are FIVE talking points from
Over-reliance on De Kock
When De Kock was out thanks to an
impressive catch from Virat Kohli, South Africa were 88/2 after 11.2 overs and
well on their way towards a score that would have made the Indians know they
were in a real contest.
In the 8.4 overs after
his dismissal, South Africa scored just 61 runs
at 7.26 per
over. With five wickets left in the bank at the end of the innings, that return
is not acceptable.
De Kock obviously has the ability
to get the Proteas off to a cracking start, but they need more firepower in
their top four.
The worry is that in Rassie van
der Dussen and Bavuma at No 3 and No 4, respectively, South Africa have too
many accumulators up their order who need a bit of time to get going.
Graeme Smith on commentary said
he would like to see Miller at No 4, but it is ridiculous to think we are still
debating his best batting position this late in his career.
Bittersweet for Bavuma
A T20 debut for South Africa's
new Test vice-captain that was both encouraging and worrying. Bavuma is in the
middle of a huge push from the CSA leadership that will see him included in all
formats. He started brightly at looked well on his way to proving that he
belongs in the shortest format, but his inability to score towards the end of
the innings hurt the Proteas.
Still, 49 off 43 on debut is
absolutely something he can build on.
Also on T20 debut, Nortje may
have been kept awake last night by visions of Rohit Sharma belting him over
midwicket for two huge sixes in his first over.
Nortje is extremely quick, but he
will have to learn soon that pace doesn't mean anything if you can't hit your
He was too short in that first
over and paid the price.
couple of superb catches
First Kohli and then Miller
produced catches of the highest order.
The Indian skipper showed incredible
athleticism to remove De Kock by covering a lot of ground to his left when it
looked like he would never get there.
Then, in India's innings, Miller
went one better with an absolute pearler on the long-on fence, Shikhar Dhawan
(40 off 31) belted on straight down the ground that was cruising towards the
fence before Miller flung himself to his right and plucked the ball out of the
In the battle of the catches,
South Africa won, but the celebrations that followed were somewhat hollow given
the inevitability of defeat lurking just around the corner.
will be sick of seeing Kohli already
He was so very nearly out LBW to
Andile Phehlukwayo early in his innings, but once he survived that he never
Kohli showed once again why
he is considered the best white ball batsman in the world with an undefeated
72* (52) as India cruised home.
one more T20 and a three-match Test series on the cards for next month, the
prospect of bowling to Kohli will be a daunting one for this South African
of the format, getting his wicket cheaply will be key to success.