Team India had returned to winning ways on Tuesday in the third T20I of the five-game series against South Africa, beating the Proteas by 48 runs in Vizag. After posting 179/6 on the board, the Indian team folded the visitors at 131 with Harshal Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal taking seven wickets between them. With the bat, openers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ishan Kishan slammed a half-century and after a middle-class collapse, Hardik Pandya secured a strong finish with an unbeaten 31 from 21 deliveries.
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In the second T20I, India had endured a four-wicket defeat as the side suffered a disappointing mid-level performance. One of the decisions about the Indian team’s batting order in the match was widely criticized – that of promoting Axar Patel over Dinesh Karthik. Many former cricketers disagreed with the decision and former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir was one of them. In fact, he also said that if India’s plan is to only reserve Karthik for the last three overs, it could be difficult for him to be included in the T20 World Cup roster.
“Too early to say. T20 World Cup is way ahead. He needs to perform consistently until then, but if he only wants to hit in the last three overs, things can get tough. India will definitely be looking for someone in the top 7 who can bowl and if Axar hits at 7, the team would be one batter short,” Gambhir said on The match point of Star Sports.
“In such a case I would not have him (Karthik) in the World Cup squad. I would definitely have people like Rishabh Pant and Deepak Hooda (in the team). We have KL Rahul, we have Suryakumar Yadav, Rohit Sharma. “Once they come back, it will be difficult for Dinesh Karthik to find a place in the playing XI. If he doesn’t have a place in the playing XI, there’s no point in giving him a place in the squad.” Gambhir continued.
In the third T20I, Karthik was sent to number 6 with more than four overs left in the game; however, he was fired at 6. Team India returns to action on Friday for the fourth T20I of the series in Rajkot.
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