• SA up for new challenge in second T20

    South Africa are prepared for a radical change in conditions expected for the second T20 International against India at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack on Monday.

    The series has moved 2 000km from the cooler temperatures of Dharamsala to the hot and humid climate of east India.

    ‘We understand that the dimensions of the field are slightly bigger,’ Farhaan Behardien said to the media in Cuttack on Sunday.

    ‘We are not as high up from an altitude point, so the ball won’t travel as far. We are going to have to prepare accordingly, we may have to run a lot more ones and twos. Running between the wickets will be important from a batters point of view.

    ‘From a bowlers view we may need to protect certain pockets of the field because of the bigger dimensions and plans. It is a lot warmer here so we will have to be smart with the way that we manage our energy.’

    South Africa and India were almost even in terms of boundaries scored in the first T20I, but it was the number of two’s (13 compared to 4 by India) run by the batsmen that gave the Proteas the advantage.

    Half of the tally was run by Behardien and JP Duminy during their unbeaten 105-run partnership, which was buoyed by good communication between the all-rounders.

    ‘Batting with JP is always a bit of a blessing,’ Behardien said. ‘He has been here so many times, especially playing in the IPL for Delhi, I’ve also learnt a lot from David Miller and AB de Villiers. Back home before the series I spent a lot of time with my franchise coach Rob Walter, we prepped a lot for spin and it helped, especially in those middle overs in a T20.

    ‘India generally bowl spin in that period so it was nice to stay calm and JP had a calming influence over me.’

    ‘We have batted together a few times and I think our communication has improved every game,’ Duminy said after Friday’s match. ‘Our main focus was to build on the partnership; the run-rate was at the 13-run mark and our focus every over was to try and keep it as close to that mark as possible.’

    The second game will also be the first T20I match for the venue and Indian Premier League (IPL) scores for day-night matches average around 160 for either team batting first or second.

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