Date: September 28, 2022
Time: 7:00 PM (IST)
Venue: Greenfield International Stadium, Thiruvananthapuram
Ball-by-ball commentary: SportsTiger App
The countdown to the ICC Men's T20 World Cup has begun. India's last bilateral T20I assignment before the ICC event in Australia will commence on Wednesday when they host South Africa in the first of the three T20Is in Thiruvananthapuram. Both the teams would want to view it as an opportunity to prepare for the World Cup in Australia and figure out the few missing blocks to their respective puzzles. As they do so, which team will end up winning this series- will it be the hosts or the visitors? We shall find out as the series progresses.
The pitch is expected to be a high-scoring one. In the only full 20 overs T20I that was played here, India posted 170 runs batting first but it was chased down by West Indies with 9 balls remaining. While batters are expected to dominate, seam bowlers can also come in handy. Spinners haven't been as effective here traditionally.
India are beginning to find their rhythm which was seemingly missing in the Asia Cup 2022. The reason has been each of the top 3 batters beginning to find some form. With the middle order already looking sorted and proper finishers in the end, the batting looks more or less settled. It is the bowling which had been a bit of a letdown. However, Jasprit Bumrah is slowly getting back to his best and along with Harshal Patel as the two get game time, they are expected to get back to their best form. Axar Patel has been an invaluable asset, especially with the ball where he has taken the responsibility to bowl at any stage of the game and do the job for his captain. Arshdeep Singh straightaway find a place in the XI.
SportsTiger's Predicted Playing XI of India
KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma (captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Dinesh Karthik, Axar Patel, Harshal Patel, Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal
Many cricket experts and fans have picked South Africa as a team that can punch above its weight in this year's T20 World Cup. Led by Temba Bavuma, the Proteas team has quality players like David Miller and Quinton de Kock who can change the complexion of the match with the willow. With the ball, they have among the best pacers in Kagiso Rabada. Reeza Hendricks, Aiden Markram and Heinrich Klaasen complete what looks like a solid batting order. What a sight it could be to see Rabada bowling well in tandem with the likes of Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi. In the spin department, Tabraiz Shamsi has proved his utility in this format but does he have the ability to outfox Indian batters in Indian conditions this time around? Time holds the answer.
SportsTiger's Predicted Playing XI of South Africa
Quinton de Kock (wicketkeeper), Reeza Hendricks, Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Temba Bavuma (captain), David Miller, Anrich Nortje, Dwaine Pretorius, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi
Conclusion: Even though South Africa have a better record in T20Is while playing in India, predicting the hosts to emerge victorious on this occasion. They are coming on the back of successive wins over Australia and would be determined to carry through the same momentum in this series heading into the World Cup.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the author’s point of view. They neither reflect the opinion of SportsTiger nor advise anyone to make any prediction based on this. SportsTiger does not assume any responsibility and liability for the same.