Jonker heroics not enough as India claim T20 series

"We never backed down from whatever situation we were thrown in".

India lost the test series 2-1, but won back a significant amount of pride with a convincing 5-1 win in the one-day worldwide series and topped it off with the T20 series. India, clearly the best side between the two in the entire limited-overs' leg, wrapped things up with a clinical performance once again. I think T20 is all about six overs. Till a few years back, Bhuvneshwar was a bowler who could swing the ball upfront but was fodder towards the end.

However, Kumar said the key to India's success was in bowling well throughout the innings. With run rate climbing, Miller went after short ball from Raina, but failed to clear the fence as Axar Patel takes catch at mid-wicket. In the first half, I thought we lost our way towards the end.

"So we will see where I can fit in". I think God helped.

South Africa also made changes, with Aaron Phangiso playing his first game of the series and Christiaan Jonker making his debut.

"They bowled pretty well in the Powerplay, and we just couldn't get the boundaries".

The hosts were struggling at 79/3 after 13 overs when Duminy and made a decision to change gears with a 30-run stand which came off just three overs.

"When bowling, I don't think I am the leader". However, Jonker and Behardien mounted some fight but India had that little bit more. It is fantastic to see a lot of talent coming through.

Interestingly, before this tour, India had won only 5 ODIs against Proteas in South Africa since 1992.

India carried their winning momentum from the ODIs into the opening T20I, posting 203/5 and then keeping the home side to 175/9 with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who had been so impressive in the Tests, coming good with a five-wicket haul.

"When you look to target the first six overs in T20s, you have to play your shots". Batting at No. 3 is big in T20 and he gave me the license to just go after the bowlers. The confidence in the dressing room gave us the license to enjoy ourself on the ground and express ourselves.

"I've worked really hard for the last two years". Whatever opportunity I get I look to play my natural game.

Raina was named Man of the Match, and said: "Especially in the first overs, you need to show intent". None of the other specialist batsmen averaged 30 in the Tests but Shikhar Dhawan shone in the one-day matches.

"So each and every ball becomes very important".

The stage is set for an epic battle as India and South Africa had won the first and second matches respectively quite dominatingly. It was a decent score and once again, the bowlers did it for us.

"Just a matter of a couple of games there, I can assure you that I am going to be there very soon", promised Raina at the post-match press conference. "You hardly get wickets like these in India".

  • Julie Sanders