3rd T20I between India and South Africa Called off Thanks to Wet Outfield at Eden Gardens

October 09 00:15 2015

sa2New Delhi, Friday, October 9 – Preparations were at top gear at Eden Gardens in Kolkata as the venue was selected to host the 3rd T20 International between India and South Africa. The Proteas are on the tour of India to contest in 3-match T20 Series, 5-match ODI series and 4- match Test series against the Men In Blue on their home turf.

Hardly anyone predicted that rain will play spoilsport in Kolkata, which was to picked to host the last blow between the powerhouses. The outfield remained wet. The audience, players, cricket experts and organizers waited for the outfield to dry up as quickly as possible. The match was delayed for a few hours but since no effective result was visible, the game was cancelled.

This made the visitors to win T20 trophy as they were ahead of India by 2-0. JP Duminy, who was outstanding in this tournament against India, was given ‘man of the series’ award. SA performed well against Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men in the previous two matches. The victories must have spurred South African cricketers to continue same show in the future and see the positive outcome of boosting confidence. No wonder, if the result would have been in favor of the guests had they been able to play against India yesterday with immense dedication.

When they boarded flight to India recently, it was somewhere clear in mind that contesting against India on their own soil is going to be highly challenging. It was even true to a certain extent as well in the first game. But Dhoni-led side shockingly lost both 1st and 2nd match to lose the series by 2-1 at the hands of Proteas, who impressed cricket fans through some great fielding and batting.

Here is to remind that India lately played more than a few matches and they even logged victories against strong contenders. The win over Sri Lanka in the longest format after 22 years, which is a long span of time, was special in several regards. It was led by a young Indian captain Virat Kohli. Besides this, the Men In Blue bounced back with a bang after losing the 1st Test, which was almost won, by 63 runs thanks to poor batting by the Indians. But different contests held at different time intervals are adequate to prove that they can be game changers if entire team performs as a unit.

Even though they lost T20 series by 2-0 when South African team visited their country but hopes do not die in the future contest. Notwithstanding South Africa kicked off 3-match T20 series with a victory and they should be proud of what have been achieved to rise as a better team that could think of thrashing a strong Playing XI, with some great combinations of batsmen, bowlers and the all-rounders, India will remain a threat as it is never easy to beat India in the familiar conditions.

The South Africa squad are alert with the kind of performances that may be put by the home side in the upcoming contests but were equally disappointed like India when the match on Thursday was called off due to poor weather. Despite the fact that rain did not last for long but when it occurred, it was heavy. Not a single ball was bowled. Dhoni was possible to try a few changes in the team. Ajinkya Rahane could have opened innings of India in the wake of good start had the match been played. Given that the player is calm and tries to speak through his bat, the likelihood of witnessing some outstanding shots was high.

Suresh Raina could have batted at no. 3. This may have turned pivotal as the all-rounder is capable of adding runs in speed. Stuart Binny might have found a spot in the Playing XI in yesterday’s match, which was unluckily abandoned.

Kolkata crowd was highly disappointed. The viewers were all set to catch the action live and made sure they reach the venue much prior to the time scheduled for the game to start. Uncertain weather condition of the city must have made organizers to think twice whether to slate crucial contests here on not in the near term.

Faf du Plessis was proud of his boys the way they clinched series against India. This will unquestionably boost their morale in the upcoming challenges. The ODI contest is to start soon. Green Park in Kanpur is to host the first ODI, which is definitely going to grab the eyeballs. Who will be picked to perform in 50-50 over match will be a key question as it is the ideal combination of players that sets the foundation for team’s victory or defeat.

Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore, Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot, MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai and Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai are spots selected for 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th ODIs, respectively. Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, along with key bowlers, are to play pivotal role to make India pull through from the shocks they received in T20 series.

No team plays to lose a match. India weren’t bad when they lost the 1st T20 held at Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala. It was just that the rivals emerged a bit strong to take a lead that was imperative to stay robust in the further tournaments. Now, when T20 series is over and Proteas have won it, eyes are struck at opening ODI, which is to take place after a couple of days. Expectations are soaring amid challenging environment. The audience expects Dhoni and his teammates to get back on the track of victory as early as possible.