The 5th match of the India vs South Africa T20 series was abandoned due to rain after only 3.3 overs were played. So the series remains drawn at 2-2.
After losing the first 2 games in the series, India made a strong comeback and had the momentum to seal the series as well. Without a few big names in the squad against the full-strength Proteas was an ambitious move made by the BCCI.
The selectors rested veteran performers captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami for the series.
Suryakumar Yadav who was phenomenal throughout the last year in this format also missed out due to injury. At first, KL Rahul was named captain but a groin injury ruled him out from the series.
So the following series turned out to be a successful experiment for the BCCI. Though last year they made a similar experiment by sending an almost A category team to play against Sri Lanka, which ended in failure.
The experiment seemed to be failing this time too, however, Rishabh Pant and his men turned things around stunningly.
When India lost the first two matches of the series, it seemed that the side is not capable of coping with the pressure of international games, especially, when they failed to defend a total of 211 in the 1st game. In the next game, the young Indian side looked more vulnerable.
However, they managed to hold their nerves. Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ishan Kishan shined as the opening pair. Ishan Kishan's consistency put team India ahead throughout the series. Kishan scored 206 runs in his 5 innings and secured the 7th position in the ICC T20 batsman ranking.
Despite his failure with the bowl in hand, Hardik Pandya sparkled with the bat. While striking at 153.95, Pandya had an average of 58.50 in his four innings.
Though the skipper Rishabh pant was not in good touch with the bat, he still managed the team quite well and snatched the series from the Proteas.
Dinesh Karthik got his maiden international fifty after 16 years of his T20 career, after getting called followed by his tremendous form at the Indian Premier League this year.
Harshal Patel and Avesh Khan, 2 newcomers have done exceptionally well. Both of them bagged 4 wicket hauls once in the series.
Except for the 1st match, Harshal Patel was economical and destructive throughout the series. Bhuvneshwar Kumar made a promising comeback in his own style of being tight and economical and achieved the Man of the Series award.
In the meantime, leggie Yuzvendra Chahal also did well with 6 wickets in the series.
This series will definitely give confidence to team India. An efficient dugout will always bring an additional advantage.
Integration of youth, experience and class will make them one of the worthy contenders for the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia.