South Africa’s Keshav Maharaj feels his team needs to re-assess how to combat the new ball which swung “prodigiously” in the first few overs of the first T20I against India on Wednesday.
South Africa’s batting crumbled as Indian seamers Arshdeep Singh (3 for 32) and Deepak Chahar (2 for 24) swung the ball both ways to set up an eight-wicket win for the host. “I don’t think it’s a chapter we need to dwell too much on. However, we do need to chat about how we started,” Maharaj said at the post-match press conference.
“The application we saw upfront, we need to re-assess that and find ways to combat the swing. The ball did swing prodigiously in the first couple of overs.”
Maharaj, who top-scored for the visiting team with a 35-ball 41, feels some adjustment and a change in mindset could help batters combat the swing. “Something that we need to address is the new ball, the way we are playing it, there is a lot of swing in it. So maybe just adjust our plan and mindset and take it from there,” he added.
South Africa was reeling at 9 for 5 within the first three overs before Aiden Markram (25) and Wayne Parnell (24) steadied the ship. Maharaj later took over to help his team cross 100. “We didn’t expect the ball to swing so prodigiously. It wasn’t an easy wicket to bat on, it was two-paced, the odd ball skidded through, a lot of tennis ball bounce at various points. I don’t think we want to dwell too much on what has transpired, but it is something that we can address going forward and hopefully we can rectify that,” Maharaj said.
‘Fight and character’
The left-arm spinner felt the team did well to make a match after being in such a precarious position.
“When you are put under pressure it is difficult to comeback but the boys showed a little bit of fight and character. The character that we showed coming back from 29 for 5 and get 106 and still sort of make a game of it, we can take a lot of positives from that.”
The 32-year-old rued the “small moments” that didn’t go in South Africa’s favour that could have change the complexion of the game.
"The seam bowlers did extremely well in the Powerplay -- KG (Kagiso Rabada) and Wayne (Parnell), got the wickets, didn't give away much. I don't think it became easier to bat but the small moments could have gone our way." "When Surya (Kumar Yadav) came to bat the top edge went of hand it could have been a different situation. But full credit to the Indian batting unit KL (Rahul) and Surya batted extremely well," Maharaj said.
The two teams will meet again in the second T20I in Guwahati on Sunday.