'This is what you don't want with a World Cup coming up': Zaheer Khan on India's 'worry' after 2nd T20I loss to SA

Published on Jun 13, 2022 01:15 PM IST

India slipped to a second defeat to South Africa in their five-match T20I series and now need to win all three of the remaining matches to win the series. 

Bhuvneshwar's 4/13 was not enough to lead India to victory(ANI)
Bhuvneshwar's 4/13 was not enough to lead India to victory(ANI)

India are on the verge of losing a series at home after they lost the second T20I against South Africa in Cuttack. The defeat came despite the fact that they managed to limit the visitors to 29/3 in the powerplay. The Proteas were only chasing a target of 149 and Heinrich Klaasen's 81 off 46 balls helped them get over the line with seven wickets and five balls to spare. 

Former India fast bowler Zaheer Khan said that India have to find a way to capitalise on the platforms that they create, as was the case when they managed to take three wickets in the powerplay. Bhuvneshwar Kumar had led the way, taking all three wickets and later finished with figures of 4/13 despite being on the losing side.  

“That is the worry. You are creating a platform from where you can win a game of cricket but you are not able to close it. When this happens, your morale and the processes which you are following gets damaged. That is what you don't want right now with a big World Cup coming up,” said Zaheer on Cricbuzz. 

India are missing a number of their regulars like captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah but Zaheer said that the winning habit has to be made regardless of who is taking the field. 

“You want to make a habit of winning games regardless of who is taking the field. I know that key players are not part of the series. You still have a brand of cricket which you have been playing and created those platforms for and to win games and you are not able to close it. The culture in the team is very important to protect,” he said. 

“It's not going to be easy to go and win all three games coming up. It is a good challenge as well. You have a day of travel and then you take the field, it's not going to be easy.”

Zaheer said that it is the simplicity of Bhuvneshwar's tactics that makes him so effective. 

"He keeps things very simple. He has the experience of playing at this level and he keeps it wicket to wicket. He hits those areas and lengths, brings the balls back into the right handers and some hold their shape or he takes them away. That is what he does brilliantly. 

When (Dwaine) Pretorius was there, he knew that his role was to be attacking and take that extra risk. So he used the knuckle ball. He understands exactly what to use for which player. He is an experienced campaigner. Fitness has been an issue but now it is just about maintaining himself. What we are going to get from Bhuvi is always going to be the same.," he said. 

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