The fifth T20I between India and South Africa was abandoned due to rain. The series finished at 2-2. 

Here are three key takeaways from the series:

1) Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya’s contention for World Cup spots:

Probably, India’s biggest takeaway from the five-match series is Karthik and Pandya rising as finishers. The two, coming off a brilliant IPL 2022 run, managed to score 92 and 117 runs in the series. The two often found themselves in fragile situations after the top-order departed early. They not only managed to see off the difficult middle overs but also gave the team a final flourish. 

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 Head coach Rahul Dravid praised the two, describing them as enforcers. 

“We needed that big performance in last five overs to make a par score and he and Hardik batted beautifully. Both of them are enforcers for us at the end,” he said. 

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2) India’s opening conundrum continues:

There was no KL Rahul or Rohit Sharma to bank on. In their absence, Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad were promoted as openers. While the former managed to give India the flying starts and score two fifties, the latter could not translate his IPL 2022 form successfully. 

Kishan scored 206 runs at 41.20 in five innings. Gaikwad made 96 runs in five matchs with the help of one half-century. 

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Even when Rahul, who has not played a T20I since November 2021, comes in, the opening question will remain. 

3) Rishabh Pant’s poor form:

Rishabh Pant was made the captain for the series. The 23-year-old was coming from a 340-run IPL season. However, he failed miserably in the five-match contest vs South Africa. His scores read: 29 (16), 5(7), 6(8), and 17(23). 

Also read: Dinesh Karthik far from done: India finisher smashes maiden T20I fifty at 37

Pant averaged14.25 and struck at 105.55.

“Personally, he would have liked to score a few more runs but it is not concerning him. Certainly, he is a very big part of our plans going ahead in next few months,” Dravid said during the post-match press conference.