South Africa vs India, 3rd T20I, Preview: India eye maiden T20 series triumph in the Rainbow nation
Having won the 2nd T20I South Africa have tasted victory and will want more, India, on the other hand, will want to end the tour on a high.
Published - Feb 23, 2018 1:43 pm | Updated - Feb 24, 2018 9:10 pm
India started their South African campaign with a one-sided affair in the Test series as they were comprehensively brushed aside. However, they stormed back to thrash the Proteas in the ODI series. They replicated their form in the opening T20 encounter at the Wanderers in Johannesburg and thumped the hosts with disdain.
However, South Africa weren’t willing to give in just as easy this time and levelled the series at the SuperSport Park in Centurion. Under overcast conditions, they won the toss and elected to have a crack at the Indian batsmen. Their bowlers had the Indian top order on the mat. However, MS Dhoni and Manish Pandey guided them to safer shores and stitched together a stupendous partnership. Subsequently, India racked up 187 runs.
South Africa were clinical during their run-chase and traced down the target with six wickets in hand and eight balls to spare. The likes of Heinrich Klaasen and JP Duminy took the bowlers by the scruff of the neck and helped South Africa cruise to the target without many hiccups. The teams will now lock horns in the decider at the Newlands in Cape Town on Wednesday.
Toss: SA won the toss and elected to bowl first
India (Playing XI): Rohit Sharma(c), Shikhar Dhawan, Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni(w), Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Axar Patel
South Africa (Playing XI): Reeza Hendricks, David Miller, Jean-Paul Duminy(c), Heinrich Klaasen(w), Farhaan Behardien, Christiaan Jonker, Andile Phehlukwayo, Aaron Phangiso, Chris Morris, Junior Dala, Tabraiz Shamsi
South Africa went into Centurion with an unchanged team and it is most likely that they will stick to their playing eleven in Cape Town. Reeza Hendricks and Jon-Jon Smuts are the likely openers. Skipper JP Duminy played a matured hand in the last encounter and will want to translate his form in the decider. Wicketkeeper-batsman Klaasen remains a vital cog in their lineup. Meanwhile, David Miller will wish to contribute with the willow as well.
In the bowling department, Junior Dala has impressed thus far with his new ball bowling. Chris Morris, being a senior member of the team, needs to hit his straps in order for South Africa to come out trumps. Dale Paterson has had a forgettable series and will be itching to make an impact in the final confrontation. The likes of Andile Phehukwayo and Duminy’s role also will be crucial for the Proteas.
India had a pretty ordinary outing in Centurion, especially with the leather. Hence Virat Kohli’s men might make some changes to the eleven. Kuldeep Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah triggered injuries during the series. However, with the series at stake, Kohli would be tempted to draft them back in the squad. Their inclusion will undoubtedly boost the bowling lineup and most importantly, their morale.
Nevertheless, the batting lineup looks solid and is highly unlikely to be tinkered. Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma will be persisted with as the openers. Raina looked impressive during his shorts stints at the wicket as their new No.3. MS Dhoni and Manish Pandey also have kept themselves in good stead with the willow. Kohli missed out in the last match and will wish to play the captain’s knock and end the tour on a high.
Head to Head
Matches- 12, India- 7, South Africa-5, N/R- 0
Focus will be on-
Yuzvendra Chahal (India)
Chahal was taken to the cleaners by Duminy and Klaasen at the SuperSport Park. The leggie struggled to come to terms with the wet conditions. Subsequently, he was carted for seven sixes, which was the most any Indian bowler has taken to date in T20 Internationals. However, he has previously shown his temperament as someone who doesn’t fear going for the runs and it will be interesting to see how he bounces back at the Newlands.
Heinrich Klaasen (South Africa)
Klaasen forayed into international cricket with a swashbuckling knock in the Pink ODI at Wanderers. He carried along his confidence and form in the T20I series and has looked ominous for India. The big man can clear the ropes effortlessly and can be a threatening factor for the Men in Blue going into the deciding contest.
Timings: 21:30 IST
TV – Sony Ten 1 (English Commentary), Sony Ten 3 (Hindi Commentary)
Live streaming – Sony LIV