Question makes over India’s bowling attack
- Skipper Temba Bavuma faces criticism on his form
- India could experiment with death overs bowlers
South Africa are all set to tour India for a limited overs series starting from September 28th. The series comprises three T20Is followed by three ODIs, which would not be part of the ICC CWC Super League.
The first T20I will take place at Thiruvananthapuram on September 28th, while the second game is slated to be played at Guwahati on October 2nd. The final T20I will happen on October 4th at Indore. The caravan will then move to Lucknow for the first One-Day International on 6th October. Ranchi gets to host the second ODI on October 9th while the tour will conclude on October 11 in Delhi.
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South Africa have done extremely well in both the formats in recent times and are one of the favourites heading into the T20 world cup. The Proteas toured India earlier this year after the Indian Premier League, drawing the five-match T20I series 2-2. Later they defeated England in England by 2-1 before hammering Ireland in both the games.
India have had an enormous amount of T20 action this year, playing 27 matches in total and winning 19 of those. India’s team have had a rough time recently losing two back to back matches in the Asia Cup that saw them crash out in the Super 4. Later they lost the first T20I of the series versus Australia, failing to defend 208.
Talking about the fifty-over format, South Africa had swept India by 3-0 at home earlier this year but then lost to Bangladesh by 2-1. They drew the series in England by 1-1 before the third game was washed out. India have clean swept the West Indies this year both home and away while also beating Zimbabwe by 3-0 away from home just recently. They defeated England by 2-1 in the British backyard in July.
The T20I series is the last opportunity for both the teams to fine-tune their squads before heading to Australia for the T20 World Cup, which starts on October 16th with the first round while the main stage commences on October 22nd. The ODI series is a bit out of place but both the teams are likely to use it for experimenting.
Who are the favourites?
India lead the head to head record between the two teams in the shorter format by 11 wins to 8. While India are struggling in some areas, having Jasprit Bumrah fit and firing will solve half of those. South Africa are arguably in the best shape and should push India to the limit, however home conditions will give India an edge. We expect India to win the T20I series.
As for the ODI series, South Africa lead the historical head to head scoreline by 49-35 but that hardly matters. South Africa have announced a full-strength side for the tour barring Rassie van der Dussen, who is out of action with an injury. India could well field a weakened side to rest some of their main players. Expect South Africa to clinch the ODI series.
India v South Africa, 1st T20I Prediction
While South Africa have been in good form in T20Is of late, India’s home advantage should help them ease past the Proteas in Trivandrum in the first T20I. Back India at 1.75 to win the match!
Virat Kohli returned to form recently, smashing 276 runs in the Asia Cup at an average of 92 and strike rate of 147. He also ended the three-year century drought with a sublime 122* off 61 versus Afghanistan. Kohli has over 3500 runs in T20I cricket at an magnificent average of 52 and strike rate of 138. In the fifty-over format, Kohli has amassed 12344 runs at an average of 57.68 and strike rate of 92.83. Kohli has 43 hundreds and 64 fifties in ODI cricket.
David Miller has had a new life into his career since 2021 and has been in sensational form. The left hand batter had a terrific IPL season for the Titans, where he scored 481 runs at an average of 69 while striking at 143. For South Africa he has scored 377 runs in the shorter format since 2021, averaging 47 at a strike rate of 149.60. Miller has a splendid record in the fifty-over format as well, scoring 3539 runs at an average of 40.67 and strike rate of 101.28, including five hundreds and 17 fifties.
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