In the 2nd One Day International (ODI) between India and South Africa, the latter secured an impressive win, evening the series with a standout performance from Tony de Zorzi. Despite strong efforts from Sai Sudharsan and skipper KL Rahul, India couldn’t seal the series. The 3rd ODI becomes crucial for both teams, deciding the series winner on Thursday.

De Zorzi’s magnificent century disrupted India’s quest for a decisive lead. In a day where 332 players were auctioned for IPL 2024, the South African opener marked his maiden ODI century, overtaking Sudharsan as the top scorer in the ODI series. However, Sudharsan’s commendable knock of 62 off 83 balls in the 2nd ODI solidified his place for the series decider.

Sudarshan, expected to be a vital member of Gujarat Titans’ batting alongside captain Shubman Gill in IPL 2024, grabbed the attention of Sunil Gavaskar during his debut ODI series against South Africa. Gavaskar praised Sudarshan’s temperament and talent, acknowledging his impressive batting technique.

Gavaskar also highlighted Sudharsan’s achievement, becoming the second Indian batter after Navjot Singh Sidhu to hit consecutive half-centuries in the first two ODIs. Sidhu had struck four half-centuries in his initial four ODI appearances. Sudharsan has scored a total of 117 runs in 2 innings for Team India.

Encouraging Sudharsan to aim higher, Gavaskar urged the young left-hander not to settle for 50s and 60s but to strive for bigger scores, especially in the crucial decider. Emphasizing the potential for a century in every opportunity when batting up the order, Gavaskar advised Sudharsan to aim for that milestone, highlighting the significance of converting good starts into bigger innings for the team’s benefit.

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The focus now shifts to the series decider, where Sudharsan’s performance might hold the key to India’s success, leaving fans and pundits curious about his role at the top of the order.