Reeza Hendricks, JP Duminy and Bhuvneshwar Kumar confirmed India’s strategy of taking pace off the ball during the Proteas’ 28-run defeat in the first T20I at the Wanderers.
The Proteas’ batsmen were hopeless on Sunday, apart from Hendricks (70) and Farhaan Behardien (39). The rest scored a total of 58 runs.
This was largely due to exceptional bowling from Kumar. The India seamer took career-best figures of 5-24, which restricted South Africa to 175-9.
Kumar’s wickets included the scalp of Hendricks, who was dismissed after scoring his maiden T20I half-century for the Proteas.
The 28-year-old touched on what made Kumar so difficult to face.
‘He was just consistent in his areas, which was pretty much giving us nothing to score off. So we had to be happy with ones and twos at that time,’ said Hendricks.
Kumar admitted that the slower delivery was key to the Indian bowlers’ success.
‘Today we bowled a lot of slow balls. It was a part of our strategy on this wicket, to do away with pace and make it difficult for the batsmen to score.
‘Apart from line and length, it’s important to understand how you want to mix your deliveries. It matters. Today, for instance, it was about bowling slow.’
Duminy also picked up on Kumar’s strategy to vary the pace of his deliveries.
‘There’s something to look into,’ he said about Kumar’s lines and lengths. ‘But if you look at his first three wickets, it was slower balls.
‘Unfortunately at the point in time we – myself included – were trying to be aggressive, looking for the boundary and it came down to the execution of the shot.
‘He’s a skilful bowler, who has been in this format for a long time. The type of bowler he is, he is best suited to pitching the ball up and using his bag of tricks.’
Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix