The hosts ultimately prevailed by eight wickets in the inaugural T20I between South Africa and India in a low-scoring thriller. With their effective swing bowling, pace bowlers Arshdeep Singh (3/32) and Deepak Chahar (2/24) kept South Africa to 106/8. Although the chase was not easy, half-centuries from Kl Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav helped India cross the finish line in 16.4 overs. The hitters battled on a pitch with underlying wetness and more than waist height bounce at moments, and Rahul explained why after the game.
“Definitely, right up there (as the toughest pitch). We have played in some difficult conditions like this but I haven’t got runs, so this was hard work. It was unbelievable for Surya to come out there and play those shots, we have seen how balls were flying, nipping around, two-paced and everything that can be hard for a batter that was the wicket today, and for Surya to come with that approach after the first ball that hit him, he just woke up and wanted to play his shots, be aggressive and take on the bowling. That helped me take my time and play one end,” KL Rahul said. “Long ice bath today. Ice baths and wickets like these is not something we enjoy, but we have to do it sometimes.” Both teams’ hitters struggled to adjust to the pace and movement of the pitch, which former India head coach Ravi Shastri described as “not perfect for T20 cricket” on air.