After scores of 23 and 1 in the first two T20Is against South Africa, opener Ruturaj Gaikwad bounced back in the third match at Visakhapatnam, top-scoring with 57 off 35 deliveries. Gaikwad’s stand of 97 with fellow opener Ishan Kishan set the base for India making 179/5, which proved enough for a 48-run win to keep themselves alive in the five-match series.
Gaikwad had got India off to a flier when he hammered Anrich Nortje for 20 runs in the fifth over of the innings, thanks to four boundaries sandwiched on either side of him being hit on helmet grille to escape an unplayable short ball from the tearaway quick.
He revealed that with the ball coming nicely on the bat helped him play his shots very well.
“Coming into the series, the first two wickets I felt were slightly on the tacky side. It was stopping a bit batting first in the last two games but here the wicket was good, ball was coming into the bat, so I played my game. I changed nothing, my thought process, everything was the same,” said Gaikwad after the match.
Asked if there were some nerves due to not making his chances count in the last two matches, Gaikwad remarked, “Not really on the edge. It is just part and parcel of the sport. Last year I had a really good year, so people come with a lot of expectations when you have a great year even in IPL and domestic. In the IPL, the wicket was slightly bowler-friendly. There were no flat wickets, it was two-paced, the ball was turning, and there was some swing.
“So, three-four games in IPL, I got out to good balls, where in some dismissals, some good shots went to the fielder’s hand, it is just especially part of T20 cricket. You will have off days, weeks, months or year, and really bad days. It is a matter of staying consistent mentally, trusting your process.”
In all three matches, India’s batting template has been about going for the big hits consistently, yielding scores of 211, 148 and 179. Despite the losses in first two matches, India were unfazed about moving away from the template set for this series in absence of many regulars.
“The conversation was about staying positive. We played really well in both the games. There were just some crunch moments where they played really well and overtook us. They made sure they won those moments against us. So, it was just that they batted really well in both games, but they had a batting collapse.
“Coming here, we just wanted to stick to what we did in the last two games and look to improve as a team and group. Bowling-wise, we were slightly more aware of the game, there was more awareness in this game and that worked well for us,” elaborated Gaikwad.
Gaikwad, 25, felt that India’s aggressive intent with the bat and going relentlessly after the bowlers works in different ways for batters in the side.
“Going after (the bowlers) is not about being reckless or playing rash shots out of nowhere. I think we as a batting unit have certain amounts of strength, certain shots we play as individuals. It is just about backing ourselves and putting pressure on the bowlers. That is what the team was going after: putting pressure on the bowlers.
“Just making sure that you are showing the intent, no matter if you are playing first ball or second ball, or you are set. Even if you are batting at 30-40, just need to keep going. If it is there in your area, in your strength, just have to go for it, that is what the thinking is about.”
Violent Clash Erupts Between Rival Supporters During Argentina vs Brazil 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers
The 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers has been marred in controversy as the match between Brazil and Argentina saw violent clashes between rival supporters before the start of it. The high-profile fixture had to be delayed by 30 minutes as the Marcana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro witnessed ugly scenes, with disturbing visuals emerging on social media.
With the Brazilian and Argentinian players lining up for national anthems, the camera turned towards the stands as a section of rival fans exchanged blows. The local police officials could be seen beating up a section of Argentinian fans with batons and it did not go well with the tourists. By pointing at the violent scenes, Messi and co. decided to walk off the pitch.
PAK vs ENG, CWC 2023: ‘Broke 25 Crore People’s Hopes In 5 Seconds’, Netizens Troll Pakistan As England Almost Kill The Game At Toss
Pakistan cricket fans were left ruing their luck at the toss as it fell in England’s favour at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Saturday. With Jos Buttler winning the toss marking the end of Pakistan’s campaign at the showpiece event, netizens have relentlessly trolled Babar Azam and his men for losing the contest at the toss.
Coming into the game, Pakistan were facing a near impossible equation as winning the toss was the first priority. After winning the toss, Pakistan had to beat them by a massive 287-run margin. As things stand currently, Babar Azam and co. must do the unthinkable, bowling out for a mere 20 runs and getting those in only 1.3 overs, which would be their best-case scenario.
As things stand, the target for Pakistan will get bigger and the overs will keep diminishing. Pakistan fans were already irked as Babar was excluded among the list of captains during the light show at the Gateway of India in Mumbai on Thursday. It’s worth noting that Pakistan haven’t qualified for the 50-over World Cup semi-finals since the 2011 edition.
Pakistan have also made one change from their last match, benching Hassan Ali for an extra spinner in Shadab Khan. England have gone ahead with an unchanged line-up.
CWC 2023: South Africa vs Australia Semi-Final To Be Shifted To Mumbai If Pakistan Reach Knockouts, Confirm ICC Sources
The ODI World Cup semi-final between South Africa and Australia will be shifted to the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai if Pakistan qualify for the knockouts, sources in the International Cricket Council confirmed to the Free Press Journal on Thursday.
If Pakistan manage to reach the semis then they will face arch-rivals India once again in this tournament. In that case, the semi-final will be played at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on November 15.
But if Pakistan don’t reach the semis then India will face either New Zealand or Afghanistan in Mumbai and South Africa will take on Australia in Kolkata as per the original schedule.India are scheduled to play their semifinal match in Mumbai only if they don’t face Pakistan. The Men in Green have refused to play in Mumbai due to security reasons.
Pakistan qualification scenario explained
But Pakistan’s qualification depends on the result of the match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka which is being played at the M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru.
If New Zealand manage to beat Sri Lanka by a comfortable margin then Pakistan’s qualification will take a hit even if they defeat England in their last league game. A loss against the defending champions in Kolkata on November 11 will automatically knockout Pakistan from the race for the semis.
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