India have been below par in the T20 series against South Africa, who have already clinched the series 2-0. Though the first T20I in Dharamsala was a close one, the second T20I was completely dominated by South Africa.
Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar believes the Indian team are not playing with the right combination in the shortest format of the game. The pacer even added that India need to play Ajinkya Rahane, who has been warming the bench in the series so far.
"The Indian team I believe needs to change their approach towards how they play T20 cricket and Dhoni should check the combinations that he is trying out. Ajinkya Rahane should play instead of Ambati Rayudu," Akhtar told ABP News.
Rahane has been a successful player for Rajasthan Royals at the top of the order in the IPL, but India have Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli as number 1, 2 and 3, which makes it difficult for the elegant right-hander to make it to the starting eleven. Coming to the middle order, MS Dhoni may have certain reservations regarding Rahane as a finisher in the latter stages of the game.
However, Rahane can be given a chance in the third and the dead rubber of a T20 match at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Thursday, at the expense of Shikhar Dhawan, who has not impressed in the series so far.
Akhtar also believes that apart from Ravichandran Ashwin, there are no other bowlers, who can run though the Proteas batting order.
"There is no depth in the bowling attack. Once Ashwin bowls his quota of four overs, there isn't anyone, who could run through opposition batsmen. They don't even have the fast bowling to run through the batting lineup. Indian team's drawback is fast bowling and the second spinner," said Akhtar.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohit Sharma, who have not taken a single wicket in the series, are the two main seamers in the team. The South Africa batsmen have played the faster bowlers with utmost ease. Akhtar feels that the Indian team are missing Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami.
"With Mohammed Shami unfit and Umesh Yadav not selected, they don't have any inspiration," added Akhtar.
Though the fate of the series might have already been decided, India need to come up with a quality performance in the third T20 as it will help them gain confidence before the start of the ODI series, which starts on 11 October in Kanpur.