Abu Dhabi T10 League
Zaheer Khan[photo: Twitter]

Former Indian cricketer Zaheer Khan said that things won’t be easy for the Indian side to turn the tables in the five-match series after suffering a back-to-back loss in the first two games.

On Sunday, South Africa outclassed the Indian team on the back of Heinrich Klaasen’s power-hitting 81 off 46 balls, including seven fours and three sixes, at a strike rate of 176.09, as the tourists chased 149 on a tricky surface in Cuttack. 

Despite Indian pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar running through the Proteas batting order upfront in the chase with three wickets in the Powerplay overs, Klaasen stood firm at the crease and resurrected their innings alongside skipper Temba Bavuma.

Klaasen pressed the accelerator button in the 64-run partnership with Bavuma, who scored 35 off 30 balls with four boundaries and a six. The South Africa wicketkeeper-batter went after the India spinners and maximised every opportunity to find the fence. 

Heinrich Klaasen Temba Bavuma
Heinrich Klaasen and Temba Bavuma. Image: BCCI

There are a lot of concerns going ahead in the series for India: Zaheer Khan

If Rassie van der Dussen and David Miller’s blistering fifties helped South Africa chase their successful score (212) in T20Is in the first game, then Klaasen single-handedly bailed the Proteas out of a crunch situation in the second. 

Analysing India’s loss in both the games, Zaheer pointed out that the hosts gave up the early advantage in the first half of the chase in both instances. 

“Not going to be easy for the Indian team now after the first two losses, and the way they have lost the games. In the first game too, 30 overs through the match you thought the Indian team is in the driver’s seat. Today was also a similar kind of situation. Had the ideal start with the ball,” Zaheer said on Cricbuzz.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Image: BCCI

“Bhuvneshwar Kumar was outstanding. But [India] has not been able to close the situation. For India, there are a lot of concerns going ahead in the series and a lot of pressure,” he added. 

South Africa was more prepared than India: Zaheer Khan

Zaheer also credited Bavuma and his men for their preparations for the T20I series in the subcontinent and for executing the plans with utmost brilliance. 

“They are getting to the point in the series where different personnel are putting their hands up. You saw the first T20I and you knew that both teams have their homework cut out for bowlers. But what we saw today was that South Africa was more prepared, more hungry,” Zaheer said. 

India will play South Africa in the third T20I on Tuesday (June 14) at the ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam.

Also Read: IND vs SA: India Need To Identify What It Is Going To Take For Them To Fight For 40 Overs – Zaheer Khan