• Second T20: 10 talking points

    We pinpoint the talking points from South Africa’s defeat to Australia in the second T20I in Melbourne on Friday.

    Shot of the Day: South Africa’s innings brought just one six and, as admirable as JP Duminy’s hoist over backward square-leg was, Rilee Rossouw’s baseball-esque boundary bunt straight down the ground in the opening over typified the inventive shot selection associated with the shortest format of the international game.

    Delivery of the Day: Doug Bollinger’s first over was a veritable mixed bag, with an ugly wide succeeded by some fractional seam movement outside Quinton de Kock’s off-stump, which again allowed Ben Dunk an early catch. The early wicket, too, hampered Reeza Hendricks’ naturally attacking game.

    Batsman of the Match: Duminy shepherded the brittle batting order well – and might find some consolation in the top individual score of the match. At 90 for five after 17 overs, though, the captain should have insisted the other batsmen free their arms in pursuit of quick big runs. Australia’s closing bowlers were good, but South Africa should have managed more than just 11 runs from the final 18 deliveries.

    Bowler of the Match: Wayne Parnell wasn’t poor. Securing an economy rate substantially cheaper than his compatriots, and snaring two of the three Australian departures, his wicket-to-wicket approach from over the wicket was Shane Watson and Aaron Finch’s only genuine tests. Parnell even forced a wicket-maiden late in the piece.

    Fielder of the Match: Hendricks was verbally chipper and physically sharp despite the looming defeat, but was arguably underused on the boundary fence. He needs find his way into the inner ring, where literal influence on the scoreboard can be explored.

    Milestone of the Day: Not a landmark, per se, but the lofty death bowling stocks achieved at the Adelaide Oval quickly took a backseat to Friday’s short, wide inadequacies. Progress amounts to little if not consistent…

    Fail of the Day: Rossouw was fluid with the ball coming onto the bat at a greater pace in the first T20I, but was found out when it was unhurried in Melbourne. James Faulkner’s masterful slower delivery soon outfoxed the left-hander, who looked a bit foolish for it. Kagiso Rabada, meanwhile, somehow contrived to let a straightforward piece of fielding slip through his fingers for four.

    Key Juncture: Duminy’s entry into the attack as a first change bowler was always going to stem the flow of runs or continue the quick stream of boundaries. The latter unfortunately occurred, affording the Australians the necessary impetus to go all the way.

    Selection Poser: The confidence brought by a series lead afforded the Proteas an unchanged XI 48 hours later. With the series now level, though, Robin Peterson, David Wiese and/or Marchant de Lange must be drafted into the XI. De Lange instead of Rabada would be a wise choice for Sunday’s series decider in Sydney.

    Quote of the Day: ‘We, like the Aussies, have rested some players – and this series is a good opportunity to see what else we have in the tank. There are a lot of young kids in the squad – Hendricks, Rossouw, Rabada. It is a good guideline for the World Cup.’ – South Africa bowling coach Allan Donald.

    Photo: Backpagepix