Temba Bavuma has heaped praise on Heinrich Klaasen after the latter smashed an impressive knock of 46-ball 81 on Sunday evening in Cuttack during South Africa’s second T20I versus India. Bavuma has remarked that Klaasen knows his role in their team, and he adds lots of value to their batting unit.
India suffered a four-wicket defeat against South Africa on Sunday at Barabati Stadium to go 2-0 down in the five-match T20I series. The Men in Blue, led by Rishabh Pant, could only post a below-par 148/6 after Temba Bavuma won the toss and asked them to bat. Shreyas Iyer (40 off 35 balls) and Ishan Kishan (34 off 21 balls) failed to convert their starts into anything substantial, while Dinesh Karthik played a breezy cameo, scoring an unbeaten 21-ball 30, which included two sixes off the last over.
In reply, South Africa got off to a miserable start, crawling to 36/3 at the end of eight overs. But then Bavuma and Heinrich Klaasen steadied the ship, forging a 64-run stand for the fourth wicket to help South Africa regain control. Klaasen, who got the chance to play because of Quinton de Kock‘s injury, was at his fluent best, scoring 81 off 46 balls, laced with seven fours and five sixes. He was well supported by David Miller (20* off 15 balls), who hit the winning runs in 18.2 overs. From either side, Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the standout bowler, returning excellent figures of 4-0-13-4.
Speaking at the post-match presentation, Bavuma lauded Klaasen for taking the game away from India with a blistering knock. However, he admitted they could have finished with more wickets in hand, but it did not matter because of their victory.
“It was a tricky chase. They got the ball to talk with the new ball, it was tricky. I was just trying to hold in and allowed Klassen to come and do what he does best. We could have been clinical at the end but the result is what matters,” Bavuma said at the post-match presentation.
Further, when asked about Klassen’s batting at No. 5, a position where Miller batted in Delhi and played a stellar knock, Bavuma revealed there was no particular plan behind their batting position swap. Then, the South African captain asserted Klaasen adds a lot of value to South Africa’s batting unit, and it was no surprise for them to step up on this occasion.
“[On Miller batting at No.6] David, we can use him at five or six. Klaasen can do a lot of damage with a couple of balls. He adds a lot of value to our batting. It is about whatever your role is,” Bavuma added.
India will now be looking to pull one back when they take on South Africa again on June 14 at Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam.
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