It’s the last opportunity for both these sides to test their combinations before the mega event next month. India seem to be struggling on the death-bowling front, whereas South Africa are still unsure about their all-rounders.
Rain showers are expected to play a spoilsport. It’s not the first time the Thiruvananthapuram crowd will miss out on full-time action. The first T20I against New Zealand here in 2017 was reduced to eight overs per side.
Both teams will be unsure of their respective playing XIs. Sanju Samson is expected to be included in the squad, though not for the Wednesday game.
The hosts are without Hardik Pandya, Deepak Hooda and Ravindra Jadeja, which means Axar Patel and Deepak Chahar will have added responsibilities. Rishabh Pant is expected to capitalise on the middle overs, especially against the chinaman Tabraiz Shamsi.
In his 10 appearances against South Africa, Virat Kohli has scored 254 runs at an Average of 36.28, which increases to 41.66 when he plays in India. Rohit Sharma Averages 32.90 and has scored 362 runs in 13 matches against South Africa.
With the return of Arshdeep Singh and Jasprit Bumrah, the Indian death-bowling attack looks much better. The two individually conceded less than 8.54 runs during the death overs.
A series win against the World Champions has boosted the confidence of the Men in Blue. They would love to walk into the World Cup having won series against two of the world’s strongest opponents.
South Africa, on the other hand, are coming on the back of back-to-back series wins against England and Ireland. The challenge in India may be slightly more formidable, considering the nature of the wickets.
Spinners tend to dominate at Thiruvananthapuram, especially during the middle overs. That’s where the real struggle starts for South Africa. Only Rilee Rossouw’s career Average is more than 30 in T20Is for South Africa. Temba Bavuma’s return may create difficulties for Reza Hendricks. In the last five T20Is, Hendricks has scored 296 runs with a healthy Strike Rate of 140.24. The team management will have problems fitting in Bavuma, Rossouw, Aiden Markram and Hendricks. A rotational strategy might be the only solution. With not much time left before the World Cup, this is the only opportunity for South Africa to stabilise their playing XI.
Match: India vs South Africa
Venue: Greenfield International Stadium, Thiruvananthapuram
Date: 28 September 2022
Time: 07:00 PM IST
Where to watch: Star Sports Network | Disney+ Hotstar
Pitch report & Toss
The wicket in Thiruvananthapuram is slightly on the slower side; the odd bowl is expected to grip. If it rains, it will be difficult to score runs freely. Hence, the side winning the toss will opt to bowl first. The wicket will ease out by the second innings.
Probable playing XIs
India: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Axar Patel, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Deepak Chahar, Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal
South Africa: Quinton de Kock (wk), Temba Bavuma (c), Rilee Rossouw, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Reza Hendricks, Dwaine Pretorius, Marco Jansen, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Tabraiz Shamsi
Total Played: 20
India won: 8
South Africa won: 11
No Result: 1
Home wins for India: 3
Away wins for South Africa: 5
India: Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, KL Rahul
South Africa: Quinton de Kock, David Miller, Rilee Rossouw
India: Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah
South Africa: Marco Jansen, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje
Quinton de Kock, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Reza Hendricks, David Miller, Axar Patel, Aiden Markram, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi
Captain & Vice-captain picks
Captain: Axar Patel, Aiden Markram
Vice-captain: Virat Kohli, David Miller, Yuzvendra Chahal
The visitors look stable with their playing XI except for the top order. South Africa must fit in Reza Hendricks at all costs. A rain-hit game is always tricky. I back the chasing side to win the game.