SA vs IND 3rd T20I Preview: Both teams aim to end tour on a high

SA vs IND 3rd T20I Preview: Both teams aim to end tour on a high
SA vs IND 3rd T20I Preview: Both teams aim to end tour on a high

Cape Town: So we are back at the Newlands once again for the grand finale of the seven-week-long cricketing battle between two top teams in business – South Africa and India.

What could be a better end to this India's tour of South Africa where not only the Twenty20 International (T20I) series but the entire trip is on the line. The third and final T20I will not only be the decider of the series which is currently level at 1-1, but will also decide which team has more reasons to celebrate as where Proteas won the Test series 2-1, India thumped the home team in ODIs 5-1. Hence, the team emerging victorious in the T20I series will also lead the trip 2-1.

The stage is set for an epic battle as India and South Africa had won the first and second matches respectively quite dominatingly. India had outclassed Proteas at the Wanderers by 28 runs while the home team defeated the visitors by 6 wickets with 8 balls remaining.

In the virtual final of the series, South Africa would be look to continue with the same combination with seniors and young talents working together to fetch positive results, while India would be eying to go out with their best combination to cover up the loopholes in the bowling department which were on display in the second T20I at the SuperSport Park.

The main problem India faced in the second T20I was Yuzvendra Chahal falling short of options when Heinrich Klaasen and JP Duminy started to take on his wrist-spin. He conceded 64 runs in his four overs and surprisingly, skipper Virat Kohli did not try to throw the ball at Suresh Raina, who always had been a handy spin bowling option for previous captain MS Dhoni.

Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, who is out due to an injury, who took 33 wickets together in the six ODIs, but in the two T20Is, Chahal has only picked up one wicket and has conceded 103 runs in 8 overs. This surely is something to worry about for team India and head coach Ravi Shastri.

Jaydev Unadkat bowled fine in the first T20I but turned out to be very expensive in the second T20I. Shardul Thakur was included in the squad for Jasprit Bumrah in the second match which did not do any damage to the team. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was as usual very impressive though he could not bowl the final over of his spell in the second match.

Hardik Pandya has also been contributing well with the ball but failed to live up to the expectations with the bat in the first match. He did not get a chance to bat in the second T20I.

The biggest positive India had in the second match was MS Dhoni regaining his midas touch. Dhoni played an outstanding inning of 52 runs off only 28 balls and also smashed 4 fours and 3 sixes. Manish Pandey, who played a slow inning in the first T20I, also clicked in the second match when India was looking in trouble and played a sensation inning of 79 runs off only 48 balls with 6 fours and 3 sixes.

Suresh Raina has also returned with a bang with Virat Kohli promoting him at his batting position of No 3. Raina may have not been among the highest run getters in the series but has shown some great temperament and aggression with the bat. Four catches in two matches also prove that his fielding skills have not faded in the time he has been away from the international circuit.

Also Read: SA vs Ind, 2nd T20: Duminy, Klaasen shine; Proteas beat India

Virat Kohli has not clicked in this series so far while Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma have shown signs of being in great touch. Though Sharma failed to open his account in the second match but he is in a kind of touch when he can be extremely dengerous at any moment of the game. Dhawan had played a brilliant 72-run inning off 39 balls with 10 fours and 2 sixes in the first match while he got off to a good start in the second match but got out at 24 runs off 14 balls. He is also looking in great touch and can be very harmful for the opponents.

On the other hand, since the end of second Test match, South Africa has bot got the momentum going their way throughout the tour. They lost the third Test and were outclassed 1-5 in the ODI series. But after losing the first T20I, they have made a great comeback with a resounding win in the second match.

JJ Smuts can be very fatal on his day while Reeza Hendricks showed great character in the first T20I. Skipper JP Duminy has also regained his touch and is looking very dengerous now. His match-winning knock of 64 runs off 40 balls with 4 fours and 3 sixes would have given him great confidence.

Klaasen was instrumental in the South Africa's victory as he turned the tables for the home team with his amazingly explosive inning of 69 runs off only 30 deliveries. He smashed 3 fours and 7 huge sixes in his inning.

David Miller has been the biggest disappointment for the Proteas team in the series as he has not got into the double figures in the series so far. Farhaan Behardien is also looking in great touch and can be dengerous lower down the order.

Andile Phehlukwayo and Chris Morris have also great hitting capabilities, though, they have not been among the run-getters in the T20Is.

Junior Dala, who marked his debut in the first T20I, will be the main asset of the home team in the bowling department as he has picked up four wickets in the first two matches. Duminy and Phehlukwayo have also been effective with the ball in the series.

So, with the confidence of both the teams being on a high, we are going to have an epic battle in the third and final match of the series. Keep surfing for live updates of the match.