South Africa came on top in the recently concluded first One-Day International (ODI) against India at Boland Park in Paarl on Wednesday. The Proteas defeated the visitors by 31 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the ongoing three-match series.
Despite being a high-quality bowling attack, India had no answers to the pair of Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen, who dominated the proceedings on a relatively slow track. Both the players smashed their respective centuries and formed a remarkable partnership of 204 runs for the fourth wicket.
Neither the spinners in the form of Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal nor the pace trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shardul Thakur could get the breakthrough when Team India needed the most. But one of the major talking points that emerged was why captain KL Rahul didn’t give even a single over to all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer, who was playing his debut ODI match.
Many fans and experts were left clueless with the tourists’ approach of not trying out Iyer, who was picked in the side on the basis of his all-round skills. After the match, opener Shikhar Dhawan revealed the actual reason as to why the Indore-born wasn’t given a task to bowl.
Dhawan said they didn’t need Iyer because when the wickets were not falling, they turned towards their main bowlers but were unable to get the breakthrough. The 36-year-old opined the track was on a slower side, and there was some turn as well, so the team focused on bringing the spinners.
“We didn’t need him because the spinners did well, and there was some turn in the wicket. Fast bowlers were mostly used at the end. In the middle-overs, when the wicket was not falling, our thinking was to bring back the main bowlers to get the breakthrough, but we couldn’t do that. Then, in the end, it was important to bring our main bowlers, like our spinners,” said Dhawan in the post-match presser.