Hardik Pandya has been making the most of his comeback to the side and has been a great touch for the team
India took on South Africa in the fourth T20I in Rajkot and the game was seriously poised as a win for India would mean that the fifth and final game would be the deciding game of the series. While, if the visiting side wins the game, it would mean that the series would be taken by them. Rishabh Pant lost the toss for the fourth consecutive time and India had to bat first again. Ishan Kishan came out with positive intent and was continuing his rather good form for Team India, Gaikwad and Shreyas were sent back early by the South African pacers and captain Pant had to come in the powerplay. A superb last over in the power play by Dwaine Pretorious meant that South Africa were in a dominant position at the end of 6 overs. They got the wicket of in-form Ishan Kishan, on the very first ball of the seventh over. Hardik Pandya, had come down to the crease and had to do what he usually did for Gujarat Titans and take his team to a good score. South Africa took the wicket of Pant in the middle overs and it was then down to the two most in-form Indian batsmen of the IPL to take their side to a formidable total. Dinesh Karthik was in a different form altogether and was playing shots almost everywhere. He scored a brilliant 55 off 27 balls and made sure India set a target of 169.
Dinesh Karthik is continuing his great form from the IPL and has proved to be a great addition to this Indian side
Indian bowlers were using the pitch really well, especially the swing bowling by Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He troubled the opposition captain Temba Bavuma by the invariable bounce on that pitch and it kept giving him body blows. Another attack by Avesh Khan, made sure that Bavuma had to retire hurt. Indian bowlers bowled well and took wickets at regular intervals. India won the game by a massive margin of 82 runs and it was the biggest win for India against South Africa in T20Is. Avesh Khan was the star of the show as he took four wickets and gave away just 18 runs in his four over quota. South Africa were bundled over for a mere score of 87 and left the series poised at 2-2 heading to the fifth game in Bangalore.
After going wicketless in the first three games, Avesh took 4/18 in his four over spell that proved to be vital for India
After the match, Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik sat down and spoke about the match and what their goals are and what advice they got from their seniors. Hardik Pandya revealed in that interview as to what advice Mahendra Singh Dhoni gave to him.When Hardik asked MSD about how he deals with pressure he said that, don’t ever think about what your score is and start thinking about what your team requires. Mahendra Singh Dhoni is known to give advice to youngsters and even current cricketers who have been struggling for form.
Hardik, then asked Dinesh as to what he has changed over the years and what he does to make sure that he is back to his best. Dinesh said that, “I was very bull-headed as I have been around for so long. I know how it feels when you are dropped and I know how valuable it is to play for Team India. I wanted to do something special and RCB gave me that platform and the role which I thoroughly enjoyed. Now that the selectors gave me this opportunity, I want to make sure that I am the guy that wins those tough games for the team.”
Team India, Hardik and Dinesh now have their eyes set on the final game against South Africa at the iconic Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore. After that, both of them along with the squad barring Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant will travel to Ireland for the two match series. Hardik Pandya has been selected as the captain there and would want to make sure he gives his best for the side like he has been doing till now.