Okay! That is all from us for this match, series and tour! South Africa vs India is done and dusted but cricket is not! Because in a few hours from now, depending on when you read this text, another cracker of a series gets going! New Zealand host England for one-dayers and Tests and that will be fun too! Do remember to follow those games as well, here only. Until then, ADIOS! TAKE CARE!
As far as South Africa are concerned, plenty to learn from this tour. India have given them a nice hard lesson on how to approach cricket with the white ball and this will only make life better for the home side. Do not forget, they were without AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock, Dale Steyn and also Chris Morris for a few games. Ouch. They will look to have majority of these back before they play Australia in a Test series starting from 1st March, 2018.
Right then! Fine end to the tour for India. Started with losing two Tests, then bounced back to win 4 games on the trot before the loss at Jo'burg, won the next 3 again, lost the second T20I and eventually won tonight. In short, after those losses in the first two Tests, just two losses in the next what - 10 games! Tremendous! They can now go back home and have a much-deserved rest before they go to Sri Lanka to play err.... a tri-series involving Bangladesh beginning from 6th March, 2018. Hard to find life in that series after a promising blockbuster like the SA one but still... cricket lovers might like it.
Victorious Indian captain ROHIT SHARMA is honest and says India were 15 runs short. Admits that his team lost its way with the bat towards the end but is also quick to say that these things happen and one needs to learn. Praises the bowlers for winning the game. On the second wicket stand, Rohit says that it is crucial for the top three to perform and it has happened throughout this tour. Hopes to keep replicating it as a group. On the game plans, he says that the team management discussed some plans and they worked tonight. Keeping things tight upfront helped and credits the new-ball bowlers. Feels that India's fast bowling has been excellent throughout the tour while the spinners have been brilliant. Praises the Indian side for showing a lot of intensity and aggression throughout the tour and that helped them win. Feels the biggest positive was that the team never backed out of difficult situations.
BHUVNESHWAR KUMAR is the MAN OF THE SERIES. He too, says that the whole team enjoyed a lot on this tour and credits everything to preparation. Thanks the Indian T20 league for making the Indian bowlers better prepared for T20 cricket enabling them to think on every ball. Says that his aim was to not give too much away in the Powerplay and it worked. On his variations, he says they are a necessity but the key was to keep bowling on the stumps. Smiles on being asked about the pitches which were more India-like and admits that he loved bowling on such surfaces.
SURESH RAINA is the MAN OF THE MATCH. Says that one needs to show intent in the Powerplay and that went against South Africa. On the pitch, he adds that it looked a beauty and one just needed to hang in there. Praises the entire unit for being calm throughout the tour, enjoying itself and getting the basics right. Credits the support staff and also captain Virat Kohli for the way he handled things. On his bowling, he says that tonight's experience has given him more confidence.
South African captain JP DUMINY smiles and says that India bowled very well in the Powerplay and SA could not quite get the boundaries or singles. Admits that the Proteas did really well to bring the difference down to 7 in the end. Feels that 173 could have been gettable but the Proteas could not quite read the knuckle balls and the slower ones. Prasies Jonker for his terrific effort and is proud of his side. On the newcomers coming to the SA side, he feels that there is a lot of talent available in South Africa. Adds that the home side has learnt a lot of lessons in this tour and praises India for a terrific white-ball performance, in spite of losing the Test series before.
Decent bowling figures for everyone apart from Bumrah and Axar. Bhuvneshwar was the pick of the lot, with 2/24 while Hardik Pandya was brilliant. The fact that India managed to win in spite of giving just one over to Axar shows how good their bowling depth is. Suresh Raina - wonderful all-round display - 43 with the bat and 1/27 with the ball. Presentation coming up...
It seemed like the match was done and dusted with 64 needed from 24 balls and Duminy dismissed. But suddenly, the Proteas started to throw their bats around and India started to lose their nerves. The next three overs went for 45 runs thanks to the debutant Christiaan Jonker but Bhuvneshwar Kumar showed his class in the end.
South Africa had a different approach. Unlike India, they went very slow in the Powerplay, managing only 25 runs, keeping wickets in hand. But that went against them, as they never managed to get close to the required run-rate. JP Duminy managed to score a half century but at the cost of too many balls.
India played perfectly on a sluggish pitch, going hard in the Powerplay, keeping their wickets intact in the middle overs and then trying to go hard in the death. They failed in the last attempt but still mustered a commanding 172/7.
Did JP Duminy lose the match at the toss? Perhaps he did. That is why one should pay close attention to the previous games. Earlier in the day, the Eves had won defending and during that run chase itself, South Africa Women found it difficult to score batting second. Still, he chose to field.
What a finish. Perfect fitting to a series finale. India seemed to boss the game till the 15th over of the run chase but nearly lost it in the remaining 5... only to hold their nerves... just.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar to Christiaan Jonker
OUT! Wicket and India have won the T20I series! Well played, Jonker. Deserved a fifty for his effort though! A full toss, dipping in, Jonker couldn't put it away. Looks to go over cover but finds Rohit Sharma at the edge of the circle who takes it and throws it up in the air to celebrate the big win. INDIA BEAT SOUTH AFRICA BY 7 RUNS!
India have this in their bag if Kumar doesn't bowl an illegal ball. Another yorker swirling back in on the middle, Christiaan hoicks across the line. Gets it off the inner half through square leg. Raina from the left and Pandya from the right go after it. Suresh gets to the ball and returns a throw to Dhoni to keep them down to a brace.
Perfect bowling! Bowls an inswining yorker, nothing much a batsman could do. Drags it off the inner half towards long on. Two taken.
Wide! Another slower ball, but this time it crosses the tramline. Jonker leaves it alone. Pressure! Pressure!
Bhuvneshwar Kumar to Farhaan Behardien
Low full toss on off, driven down to long off. Can get only a single though.
FOUR! Over the short third man! Slower delivery, on a shorter length and wider outside off, Behardien reaches out to that one as he goes hard at it. No other option he has. Gets a thick edge and it goes over the fielder at short third man. The crowd is up on its feet. 14 off 4 needed now.
Slower short ball outside off, slapped through cover-point for one.