New Delhi: After a bitter-sweet seven weeks in the Rainbow Nation, India and hosts South Africa are back to where they had begun the gruelling 2018 series. And courtesy of some breathtaking display of batting from Heinrich Klaasen and JP Duminy, South Africa have taken the T20I series to a thrilling decider at Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday. So, ahead of the exhilarating encounter, several Indian players namely Rohit Sharma, Yuzvendra Chahal and Dinesh Karthik refrained from the optional training and instead spent the day at a golf course.
Cricket bats turned golf sticks as Rohit, Chahal and Karthik, accompanied by Team India’s batting coach Sanjay Bangar – headed down to the golf course. The Indian opener later took to Instagram to share a picture of the moment with the caption, “Great day on the different field @yuzi_chahal23 @dk00019 @imsanjaybangar #DJ.”
Just when the whole of cricket fraternity had written them off, expecting a 3-0 thrashing at the end of the T20I series against a daunting India, South Africa bounced back from a poor start on Wednesday night in Centurion to set up a carnival of sixes and level the series 1-1. The target of 189 runs set by the Men in Blue did seem intimidating enough, but on a wet SuperSport Park pitch, Indian bowlers were truly humbled by Heinrich Klaasen and JP Duminy as the hosts sealed a comprehensive six-wicket win.
And now, the two teams have headed to Newlands, the venue where India have never played a T20I match before, while the hosts have a rather unfavourable record on the pitch. But that doesn’t surely put the weight behind the visitors.
On two occasions in the limited-overs tour, South Africa have displayed their prowess in the shortest format of the game and both aided by rain with Klaasen being the wreaker-in-chief. They had defended their Pink honour in a rain-marred encounter in Johannesburg in the fourth ODI game and then in the second T20I, the Proteas side fought a gallant battle to overturn Indian formidability.