Yadav praises India’s attacking style in big T20 win over S Africa

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India achieved their ambition of playing fearless cricket in their crushing 106-run victory over South Africa to share the three-match series 1-1 at The Wanderers on Thursday, captain Suryakumar Yadav said.

After the first game of the series was washed out due to rain, India needed victory to square the series having lost by five wickets in the second game on Tuesday.

Boosted by their captain’s excellent 100 from 56 balls and career-best bowling figures of 5-17 from birthday boy Kuldeep Yadav, they were comfortable winners.

“We wanted to play a fearless brand of cricket, to bat first, put big runs on the board and defend it,” captain Yadav said at the post-match presentation.

“The boys work hard day in, day out, and I am really happy they showed their quality to level the series.”

Yadav is ranked as the number one T20 batter in the world and showed why as he hit eight huge sixes in a sparkling innings to lift India out of some early trouble.

“Whatever the situation, I just go out there and enjoy myself. Whether it is my day or not. It is always good to get three figures in a T20 game but most important is the team winning,” he said.

He played down an ankle injury that forced him from the field early in South Africa’s paltry reply of 95 to India’s total of 201 for seven in their 20 overs.

“It is not looking that bad. I can walk, so it is all good,” Yadav said.

South Africa captain Aiden Markram was not daunted by India’s mammoth total but felt the wicket changed character in the second innings.

“We weren’t too unhappy with that 200 to be honest, we thought it was chaseable,” he said. “Unfortunately we couldn’t get it done tonight. The pitch did get lower and slower. When they (India) were batting it looked like they could hit it anywhere.”

The teams start a three-match One-Day International series on Sunday at the same venue, before further matches in Gqeberha on Tuesday and Paarl next Thursday.