India vs South Africa: Navdeep Saini and Rishabh Pant earn a 3 while Deepak Chahar impresses

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A series to forget for Navdeep Saini (second from r).

India’s first home series since their semi-final defeat at the 2019 World Cup ended in a draw after the hosts found themselves on the receiving end of a thumping loss to South Africa in the third and final T20 at Bengaluru.

The hosts were forced to share the spoils with a new look South Africa side led by Quinton de Kock and have now failed to win a home T20 series against the Proteas for the second time in a row.

The two completed matches will give the Indian team management plenty of food for thought as they look to build a side for 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia. Here, we rate how India’s players fared across the two matches.

OVERALL GRADE: B 

Shikhar Dhawan – 8/10

Having averaged just nine in India’s series win against West Indies last month, Dhawan put in a much more commanding display against the Proteas with two quickfire innings of 40 and 36.

India batsman Shikhar Dhawan.

India batsman Shikhar Dhawan.

Rohit Sharma – 4/10

A series to forget for the India deputy skipper against an opposition whom he has dominated many times in the past. Just 21 runs in his two innings from Rohit.

Virat Kohli – 7/10

The India skipper was superb at Mohali with an unbeaten 72-run knock to guide a masterful run chase. However, he once again struggled to set the tone when India were batting first with a listless display at Bengaluru. Kohli averages more than 81 while chasing in the T20 format but it comes down drastically to 33.41 when batting first.

Rishabh Pant – 3/10

With a debate over his shot selection already raging on before the start of the series, Pant only added further fuel to the fire with tame dismissals in both of his innings. His confidence with the bat looks shot at the moment.

Shreyas Iyer – 5/10

The youngster had impressed in India’s ODI series rout of West Indies recently but he failed to bring the same form to the T20 format and was completely outfoxed by South Africa rookie spinner Bjorn Fortuin at Bengaluru.

Hardik Pandya – 5/10

India’s star all-rounder failed to make a decisive impact with either bat or ball on his comeback to the side after an extended break. Some signs of rustiness but should get better with more games under his belt.

Krunal Pandya – 4/10

Pandya’s elder sibling had a series to forget and was particularly woeful in the final T20 where he conceded as many as 40 runs in less than four overs. Failed to make a mark with the bat as well and his place could be under threat for the next series.

Krunal Pandya.

Krunal Pandya.

Ravindra Jadeja – 6/10

The all-rounder’s extended run in India’s limited-overs setup continued and he was decent with the ball in hand without really standing out. Bowled more economically compared to other spinners such as Pandya and Sundar.

Washington Sundar – 6/10

Like Jadeja, Sundar was tidy with his off-spin without being spectacular. He was difficult to get away for South Africa’s batsmen but wickets eluded him in both the matches.

Deepak Chahar – 8/10

The India seamer maintained an economy-rate of less than 5.30 in his two appearances while also picking up two important wickets in the win at Mohali. He was excellent with the new-ball as usual but showed his growing ability to bowl in the death overs as well.

Deepak Chahar is making his case for India.

Deepak Chahar is making his case for India.

Navdeep Saini – 3/10

A horror series for the young India pacer who looked extremely promising in the recent tour of West Indies. Saini averaged nearly 60 in the two clashes against South Africa while conceding runs at the rate of almost 10 an over. International cricket is a sharp learning curve and it will be interesting to see how he responds to this setback.

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