Bavuma lauds Miller and Rassie after win over hosts


After the seven-wicket win against India in the historic first T20I on Thursday, South Africa captain Temba Bavuma said that the team has a lot of belief in Rassie van der Dussen and lauded ‘explosive’ partnership between David Miller and Rassie.

Top-knocks by Rassie van der Dussen and Miller took South Africa to a seven-wicket over India, in the first T20I of the five-match series, here at Arun Jaitely Stadium on Thursday. van der Dussen smashed 75* off 46 balls while David Miller scored 64* off 31 balls to guide Proteas to a win in a historic run chase. “We have a lot of belief in Rassie (Rassie van der Dussen). We have seen him do that time and time again where he kind of starts slowly and then finds a way to bring it back at the end. He is a guy we can see as a finisher in our team. Him partnering with David does make out batting explosive,” said Bavuma in a post-match presentation.

Bavuma’s men downed a target of 126 runs in the final 10 overs to carve a very important win in a tricky pitch of Kotla, which appeared to aid spin and pace at the same time in the starting overs of the match. “We expected the wicket to get better as the night went on. Fortunately, the batting came through. A bit tricky to assess the bowling. It was fair considering how good that wicket was. He (Ishan Kishan) made it look very easy. They put us under pressure when our spinners were bowling. Always had a left-right combo that didn’t allow us to settle. Proper batting display,” he said.

Talking about the unbeaten partnership of 131 runs for the fourth wicket between Rassie van der Dussen and David Miller, Bavuma said, “David carried his form and was well supported by Rassie. Just need to build from this performance. It was a good wicket, probably we can read the situation a bit better, especially the spinners. I am being overly critical because the pitch was good. We will take that result.”

Asked about how they dealt with Delhi’s heat, Bavuma said that the contingent had to cut down on practice ahead of the game to keep their players fit.

“It was hot but wasn’t so humid. Cut down on some training and make sure everyone is fit,” said Bavuma. Talking about the match, chasing 212 South Africa lost wickets at regular intervals and were 81/3 when Miller and Van der Dussen came in for the rescue.

While van der Dussen struggled to play at the start, Miller continued his red-hot form and dominated Indian bowlers. The two batters eventually put up an unbeaten partnership of 131 runs for the fourth wicket and brought up their fifties.

With only four runs left to win in the last over, van der Dussen sent the very first delivery of Chahal for a boundary and claimed a historical seven-wicket victory, with five balls remaining.

Earlier, after being put to bat first, India posted 211/4 in 20 overs. Ishan Kishan smashed 76 off 48 while Hardik Pandya also played the quick-fire knock of unbeaten 31 off 12. South Africa have taken a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.