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India vs South Africa: Spinners have to do better, says Rishabh Pant after 2nd T20I loss
- South Africa defeated India by 4 wickets in the second T20I
- Temba Bavuma and Co are now 2-0 up in the five-match series
- Klaasen was MoM for his 46-ball 81 during Proteas’s chase
India's stand-in skipper Rishabh Pant has asked spinners to perform better in the remaining T20Is against South Africa.
Pant's comments came after Team India suffered a second straight loss in T20Is on Sunday. The visitors restricted India to 148 for 6 in 20 overs before chasing it down in 18.2 overs and four wickets to spare. With that, Temba Bavuma and Co went 2-0 up in the ongoing five-match T20I series.
While Yuzvendra Chahal picked up a wicket, he gave away 49 runs in his quota of four overs. Left-arm spinner Axar Patel's first over proved to be expensive as the left-arm spinner leaked 19 runs and never got the ball again in the game.
"The spinners have (need) to come (perform) better into the game," Pant said at the post-match presentation ceremony without elaborating much.
Pant also admitted that his side was certainly short by 15 runs. "I think (while) batting, we were 10-15 runs short. Bhuvi and the fast bowlers bowled well in the first 7-8 overs. But after that, we weren't up to the mark. In the second half we needed wickets, but we couldn't get those wickets.
They (Klaasen and Bavuma) actually batted really well. We could have bowled better, hope we improve in the next game. We need to win all the remaining three games now," added Pant after India's four-wicket loss in Cuttack.
Klaasen adds a lot of 'value' to our batting, says Bavuma
Meanwhile, South Africa skipper Bavuma heaped praise on Player of the Match Heinrich Klaasen for his incredible knock of 81 off 46 balls, saying the explosive hitter "adds a lot of value to our batting".
"It was a tricky chase, Bhuvi bowled well, he made the ball talk upfront. It could have been clinical towards the end, but we will take that. We really needed someone to take it deep. That's the role I play in the game, to close it off. There's learning I can take from this game, will try better in the next game.
We knew it wasn't going to be an easy chase, but we were confident. We knew we had to execute our plans, and we had to be clinical. We can use him (Miller) at 5 or 6. Klaasen is someone who can do the damage in a couple of balls. He (Klaasen) adds a lot of value to our batting. Whatever your role is, you need to execute as well as you can," said Bavuma after the second T20I.
Klaasen was included in South Africa's playing XI after wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock picked up a hand injury. Klaasen justified his selection with his career's fourth T20I fifty. He struck five sixes and seven fours as he scored runs at a strike rate of 176.09.
"Quinny [de Kock] came up to me in the bus and told me that he has injured his wrist. Yesterday morning his hand was a bit stiff, so I got to know that I am playing yesterday. It looked very difficult with the new ball, so I tried to target the spinners. I am glad it happened against India. I am honored to be here, and I am lucky to be here. Lot of staff members backed me, so pretty happy with that support, this one's for them," said Klaasen after receiving the MoM award.
The upcoming third T20I, which is scheduled to take place on Tuesday in Visakhapatnam, is a must-win fixture for the hosts to remain alive in the series.