The second T20 in Centurion is a series decider in the three-match tournament. India have already won the first fixture leading by 1-0. This put South Africa is a crucial point, where it can keep the series alive or let it go to India’s hand, as they did in the previous one. In the first game, South Africa’s lacuna were a poor form in batting as well as a slackened bowling stuffed with extras. In the previous series, South Africa had a good reason to blame on; player’s absence due to injury. This does not seem to change in this series as well.
Several players including Hashim Amla, Kagiso Rabada and Imran Tahir were rested, which weakened South Africa against India. Meanwhile, India too rested some of its bowlers, but the team went on with its best selections of the shortest format. The present squad is taking the advantage of its large number and choice of players to the fullest extent.
In the first match, players like Reeza Hendricks and Farhaan Behardien tried well, but India’s attack spearheaded by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, kept their attempts at bay. In the line-up, more partnerships were required as India players were able to forge. Visitor batsmen began the strike early in the inning pushing ahead the momentum, while Shikhar Dhawan kept steered the run rate throughout the inning. This approach of India in batting took a massive toll on South Africa bowlers wreaking up the highest ever T20 score against the team.
In this match, South Africa has a bit of hope as India might go without the strongman, Virat Kohli. The captain was injured and may opt to rest out from the game. However, it is also expected that he would have enough time to get back fit on the game. Also, team selectors would still place Suresh Raina as the top bet and Manish Pandey at the middle order. Both of these players had a nominal game in the last fixture.
JP Duminy said as players and senior batters, they are to take the responsibility of the defeat in the first match. Bhuvneshwar Kumar does not think South Africa as an easy bet. He said, the home team is not vulnerable at this moment, stating such condition occurs to every team.