South Africa vs India: Third T20 International Preview

Batsman faces bowler in front of packed cordon

We preview the third and final T20 International between South Africa and India set to take place at SuperSport Park Centurion on Saturday 24 February. 

In an incredible turnaround, South Africa only went and demolished India in the second T20 International at SuperSport Park Centurion on Wednesday.

The sides will wrap up the tour down at Newlands with the T20 segment of the series up for grabs. Can the Proteas salvage what has been a pretty average limited overs leg of the tour or will India claim the bragging rights? Let’s take a look:

South Africa vs India | Saturday 24 February | PPC Newlands, Cape Town | 18:00

To Win Match
South Africa 27/20
Tie 35/1
India 62/100

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South Africa
The Proteas were full value for their six-wicket win over the Indians on Wednesday with JP Duminy (64) and Heinrich Klaasen (69) leading the charge with the bat. While those performances were impressive, I was most pleased to see Junior Dala put in a colossal effort with the ball. 

The Titans quick bagged the wickets of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli and maintained an economy rate of just 7.00 from his quota. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for Dane Paterson who was disappointing for the second match in succession as he finished with atrocious figures of 4-0-51-0.

Paterson will no doubt get another crack on Saturday due to the make-up of the squad, but he needs to show the selectors exactly what he can do before the Australia series. Another pasting at the hands of the Indians could see him fall out of the squad going forward. 

Tabraiz Shamsi also caught it for the second match in a row. The leg-spinner has clearly been figured out by the Indian batsmen and is likely to be slapped to all parts once again if he plays on Saturday. I would love to see Aaron Phangiso get a run in his place. 

Phangiso’s control may not offer as many attacking opportunities, but he’ll most certainly concede far fewer runs, something that often gets overlooked in this format. Just Look at Duminy’s and JJ Smuts’ performances with the ball in the last T20 – control is imperative against such a strong batting unit.

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India
The Indians will be smarting from that defeat on Wednesday and will head to Cape Town after no doubt receiving an absolute earful from skipper, Virat Kohli. 188-4 is a score you’d back your team to successfully defend – even at SuperSport Park Centurion. 

At the end of the day, the bowling unit as a whole simply wasn’t good enough. Of course Bhuvenshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur and Hardik Pandya returned more than respectable economy rates; however, the ball was dropped in a big way by Jaydev Unadkat and Yuzvendra Chahal who were both blown away by Klaasen and Duminy. 

A more complete performance is required going forward then. Batting-wise, I was really impressed by Manish Pandey’s swashbuckling 79*. Some pretty average bowling – particularly from Paterson helped – helped his cause but take nothing away from his performance. He pounced on anything short or too straight, bagging 55 of his runs on the leg side. 

Looking ahead, I’m sure the Indian management will want to see more from the top order in Cape Town. Rohit, Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan need to contribute more. If the three do indeed fire on Saturday, the Indians will win.

Verdict: South Africa 27/20
Sticking my neck out here a bit, but I think the South Africans can capitalise on the momentum gained following their emphatic win on the Highveld on Wednesday evening. Back the hosts to wrap the tour with another victory. 

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Written by Jason Dewey for Hollywoodbets

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