'The way DK batted, my No. 4 slot is in trouble' - Suryakumar Yadav
South Africa managed a comprehensive 49-run win in the third and final T20I against India in Indore on Tuesday, which closed out the series 2-1 in the hosts' favour. India couldn't quite get going in their run-chase of 228, with Dinesh Karthik being the lone notable contributor with a stroke-filled 46 off 21.
Promoted to No. 4 ahead of the in-form Suryakumar Yadav, Karthik walked in at 4/2 in the second over, and struck four fours and as many sixes before falling to left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj.
Suryakumar Yadav lauded the wicketkeeper batter, after being named the Player of the Series for having scored match-winning fifties in the first two games.
"The thought process was the same, I just wanted to enjoy," said Suryakumar". "I had to take a step back and build a partnership with him. Didn't work today. DK needed some game time, and I think the way he batted, my number 4 is in trouble. I haven't thought much about it (T20 World Cup), but I am looking forward to it."
India will also host South Africa for three ODIs, beginning October 6, but the bigger focus lies on the T20 World Cup 2022, beginning October 16 in Australia.
Skipper Rohit Sharma admitted that there are quite a few areas to look upon ahead of the marquee event.
"As a team we said at the beginning, no matter what happens with the result - there's always room for improvement," Rohit said. "We want to keep getting better as a team. Teams have been quite challenging, they can challenge in all departments. Something we have been talking about at length. We need to look at lot of things."
Rohit especially highlighted the need to improve on bowling, especially with premier quick Jasprit Bumrah ruled out of the competition with back injury.
"We need to work on our bowling. We played against two quality sides, we came across tough challenges. We need to see what better we can do. We are working towards that, guys need a lot of clarity, it's my job to make sure it happens. It's a work in progress, we need to keep working and keep finding answers to it. Lot of the guys haven't been to Australia, that's why we are going there early. We want to play on the bouncy pitches of Perth, we want to see what we can do there. Only 7,8 members of the squad have been to Australia, so we have organised a few practise games. We need to understand what combination we can play. Bumrah is out of the World Cup, so we need to find a bowler who has the experience of bowling in Australia. Not sure who that bowler is going to be, we will see once we travel to Australia, we'll find it out there."
The first India vs South Africa ODI will be played in Lucknow on Thursday, October 6.