Venkatesh Iyer made his ODI debut against South Africa and against all expectations didn’t bowl a single over. The batting all-rounder has the ability to double up as a bowler and was expected to play the role of Hardik Pandya which is to bat in the lower middle order and also double up as the fourth seamer. But, Iyer had a below-average debut as he scored just 2 off seven balls; also he didn’t bowl a single over. Later Shikhar Dhawan told the press why he wasn’t bowled at all. “We didn’t need him because the spinners did well and there was some turn in the wicket. Fast bowlers were mostly used at the end. In the middle-overs when the wicket was not falling, our thinking was to bring back the main bowlers to get the breakthrough but we couldn’t do that. Then, in the end, it was important to bring our main bowlers, like our spinners,” said Shikhar Dhawan in the post-match press conference.
Dhawan himself ended up scoring 79 crucial runs, but he was gutted as he couldn’t take his team over the line as India lost the match by 31 runs. He said India were guilty of losing wickets in a heap.
“We had a good start and I feel the wicket was slow, it was offering a bit of turn as well. So, when you are chasing around 300 runs when the middle-order comes to bat, it is not easy to play shots,” said Dhawan in the post-match press conference.
Talking Points: India’s Struggle Due to Middle-Order Woes Continues
He also offered his advice to the young Indian batters who lost wickets at crucial junctures. While Venkatesh and Shreyas Iyer were snared by Lungi Ngidi. The likes of Rishabh Pant and Ravi Ashwin, who could have applied themselves, were taken out by Andile Phehlukwayo. “That you need to play according to the demands of the situation, should always put the team first, that your individual game is important but at the same time practicality and knowing how much you can mould your game for the team is also important. Like if the team needs a partnership, then you should build one and those kind of things. And I feel that it will all get refined with time and experience,” concluded Shikhar Dhawan.