Your essential guide to the first T20I between the Proteas and India at the Wanderers on Sunday.
The Wanderers will host the first T20I between the Proteas and India, but unlike the Test and ODI series, the Proteas are undoubtedly the underdogs heading into this contest.
The match will see the third-ranked T20I side (India) face seventh-placed South Africa, who will be looking to heal the wounds from a humiliating 5-1 thumping in the ODI series.
JP Duminy will captain the side in the absence of the injured Faf du Plessis, and have the difficult task of trying to stop a confident India outfit.
Duminy confirmed that the rotation policy will continue for the Proteas as major players get rested ahead of the Test series against Australia, beginning in March.
Hashim Amla and Aiden Markram will be rested and replaced by Reeza Hendricks and Jon-Jon Smuts at the top of the order.
South Africa will lack firepower in their bowling attack, which will be without Kagiso Rabada, Morne Morkel, Lungi Ngidi and Imran Tahir. Dane Paterson and Junior Dala have been included as seamer replacements.
Tabraiz Shamsi, Smuts and Aaron Phangiso are the Proteas’ spinning options and will face the daunting task of suppressing an India side who are masterful against spin.
Duminy, Shamsi, AB de Villiers, David Miller, Chris Morris, and Heinrich Klaasen are the only survivors from the ODI side. Wicketkeeper Klaasen will be making his T20I debut for the Proteas.
A batsman-friendly pitch and fast outfield are expected, the same as what was prepared for the Pink ODI. Afternoon thundershowers are forecasted but major stoppages are not expected.
Players to Watch:
Reeza Hendricks will hope to take his 2017 T20 Challenge form into the T20Is. The Lions opener was the competition’s top scorer despite his side missing out on the knockout stages. The 28-year-old scored 361 runs in eight matches, which included a century and two half-centuries.
Virat Kohli needs to be stopped. The No 3-ranked T20I batsman has an average of 52.86 and is in exceptional form. He racked up 558 runs in India’s 5-1 bashing of the Proteas in the ODI series, which included three centuries and a half-century.
Proteas XI: 1 Reeza Hendricks, 2 Jon-Jon Smuts, 3 AB de Villiers, 4 JP Duminy (capt), 5 David Miller/Farhaan Behardien, 6 Heinrich Klaasen (wk), 7 Christiaan Jonker/Chris Morris, 8 Andile Phehlukwayo, 9 Junior Dala, 10 Dane Paterson, 11 Tabraiz Shamsi
India XI: 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 Manish Pandey/Dinesh Karthik, 5 Suresh Raina, 6 MS Dhoni (wk), 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 9 Jasprit Bumrah, 10 Kuldeep Yadav, 11 Yuzvendra Chahal
– Virat Kohli is 44 runs away from becoming the third batsman to reach 2,000 runs in T20Is.
– The head-to-head record is 6-2 in favour of India.
– South Africa have played exactly 100 T20Is, winning 59 and losing 40.
What he said:
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images