India’s search for a middle over batsman who can bowl a little during the middle overs might have come to an end, with Suresh Raina having had an above average T20 series against South Africa.
Raina has been deployed in that ‘number 3’ role in this series, with Kohli coming in at number 4, and Raina has impressed all three times, batting according to the situation and bringing his fielding skills to the fore as well.
But with just 5 bowlers in the side and the 5th being Hardik Pandya, who is a bits and pieces bowler, India have been searching for that dependable bowler in the middle overs who can run through the overs, if any of the 5 frontline bowlers are having an off day.
Raina was brought onto bowl today, as Duminy and Miller were present at the crease, and Axar Patel couldn’t have been brought onto bowl(captain’s fear using left arm off spinners against left-handed batsmen).
Raina though started off with a long-hop, but wth Dhoni behind the stumps, guiding him all along, Raina got back into his groove as a spin bowler, slowing it down and making it tough for the batsman to strike him out of the ground.
Miller, who was finding it tough to time the ball today, holed out to Axar at the mid-wicket boundary as he was trying to pull Raina out of the stadium.
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India are on top right now with the slow and sluggish Cape Town track making it difficult for the batsman to get any sort of timing going.
The required run rate is in excess of 13.5 and it would require a miraculous innings from one of the South African lower order batsmen.