Rishabh Pant has joined an unfortunate list of India men’s team players who have lost their first T20I match as skipper. Pant’s first game as captain did not go as planned, as India were outplayed in a high-scoring contest against South Africa in New Delhi on Thursday, June 9.
India scored 211 runs but were unable to defend the total as South Africa accomplished their most successful T20I chase ever. South Africa reached the mark in just 19.1 overs, thanks to David Miller‘s 31-ball 64 not out and Rassie van der Dussen’s undefeated 75.
Rishabh Pant Becomes Only Second Indian To Lose On Captaincy Debut
Pant was named captain on the eve of the five-match T20I series after KL Rahul was forced to withdraw due to injury. After Suresh Raina, the Delhi wicketkeeper-batter became the 8th and youngest captain of India in men’s T20I cricket.
Pant is the only second captain to lose his debut match as captain, joining Virat Kohli. In 2017, Kohli made his T20I captaincy debut against England in Kanpur, and India lost by 7 wickets.
In their debut encounter as India’s T20I captain, both Pant and Kohli scored identical scores of 29. Despite this, Kohli went on to become one of India’s most successful white-ball captains until resigning last year.
India Loses Its First Match After Scoring More Than 200 In First Innings
For the first time in their history, India lost a T20I match after scoring more than 200 runs in the first innings. Before Thursday’s match, the Asian giants were 11-0 in T20Is in which they batted first and scored more than 200 runs.
India was attempting to create a world record for the most consecutive wins in T20I cricket, but their 12-match winning streak was broken by South Africa’s batting excellence.
After Temba Bavuma won the toss and chose to bowl, India used Ishan Kishan’s 76 and contributions from Shreyas Iyer, skipper Rishabh Pant, and Hardik Pandya to total 211 in 20 overs. Miller and van der Dussen, on the other hand, secured the match with a 131-run unbeaten fourth-wicket stand.
“We had enough on the board, but I think we were a little off with the execution. But sometimes you got to give credit to the opposition. Miller and RvD batted well. Slower balls were working when we batted, but the wicket got better in the second innings,” Pant said after the defeat on Thursday.
India and South Africa will meet in the 2nd T20I in Cuttack on Sunday, June 12.