Rishabh Pant didn’t have an ideal start to his stint as Indian team captain after South Africa beat the hosts by seven wickets in the 1st T20I of the five-match series at Arun Jaitely Stadium from New Delhi on Thursday (Jun 09). South Africa comfortably went on a massive 212-run target to move up 1-0 in the series and end India’s 12-game T20I winning streak.
Invited to strike first in the match, India got off to a good start with openers Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad adding 57 runs for the first wicket. After Gaikwad started on 23-for-15, Kishan continued his onslaught from start to finish and shot a brilliant 76 on just 48 shots with 11 fours and three sixes.
He added an 80 run support for the second wicket with Shreyas Iyer (36) before skipper Pant (29 from 16) and Hardik Pandya (31 from 12) propelled India to 212 runs from 20 overs. While India were expected to comfortably defend the target, South African batters dominated proceedings in the chase.
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David Miller and Rassie van der Dussen were the heroes at bat for the Proteas with half centuries undefeated each. While Miller scored a quick shot 54 from 31 balls, Van der Dussen scored 75 from 46 balls to bring South Africa over the line with five balls to spare and take a 1-0 lead in the five-game series.
With the defeat, Pant joined former India skipper Virat Kohli on an unwanted list of captains who lost their first game for the Men in Blue. Kohli had lost his first game as captain of India against England at Kanpur in 2017. Kohli and Pant are the only two captains to have lost in their respective first games as captains of India.
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Pant has been named the Indian team’s alternate skipper for the current five-match series against South Africa following an injury to KL Rahul ahead of the first ODI. Rahul was previously supposed to lead the team in the absence of regular captain Rohit Sharma who is not part of the squad as he rested after the recently concluded IPL 2022.
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Post expires at 9:56am on Monday June 20th, 2022