Your essential guide to the second T20I between the Proteas and India at Centurion on Wednesday.
It’s a must-win game for the Proteas and after losing by 28 runs in the first T20I, a massive improvement needs to take place in order to survive in the series.
Following the defeat at the Wanderers, Proteas T20 captain JP Duminy spoke about his senior batsmen being in the ‘slumps’.
They need to bat smarter to give their side a competitive edge. Their attacking game plan needs a slight tweak. Instead of looking to clear the boundary, they should use their experience to capitalise on loose deliveries by keeping the ball grounded and looking for fours. Once they are settled at the crease, and only if they need to spike the run rate urgently, should they play expansively and search for maximums. In other words, they must resort to basic cricket.
The Proteas’ opening bowlers need to keep it tight in the powerplay. Dane Paterson’s first two overs at the Wanderers cost South Africa 31 runs – almost the exact margin of victory for India. It’s up to the coaches, as his opening partner Junior Dala confirmed on Tuesday, to decide whether he continues as an opener.
Chris Morris is experienced enough to shoulder the responsibility of opening the bowling with fellow Titans player Dala.
Banging in short balls at the likes of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli is suicide. These batsmen thrive on short deliveries and the majority of their runs come from pull shots and cuts. They obliterate anything short and wide, so the Proteas should keep things tight when facing them.
Ultimately, there is no room for errors against this polished India side. The Proteas need to be beyond their best to stand a chance of setting up a T20I series ‘final’ at Newlands.
So far, the groundsmen have failed at preparing a pitch that has favoured the home side. Despite winning the second Test at the ground, Faf du Plessis still complained about the strip by assessing it as a sub-continental wicket. SuperSport Park’s groundsman Bryan Bloy will be under pressure to prepare a pitch that suits South Africa’s pace attack and throttles India’s spinners.
We could see a delay to the start of the match with an 80% chance of afternoon thundershowers predicted.
Players to Watch:
Jon-Jon Smuts has yet to show his full potential. The Warriors captain has been in decent form domestically. His leadership helped the Warriors share the One-Day Cup and reach the semi-finals of the T20 Challenge. He finished with a batting average of 42.66 and three half-centuries in the One-Day Cup, and needs to draw from that form. He’s played seven T20Is for the Proteas with a highest score of 45, and needs a big performance to prove his worth.
Suresh Raina is playing for his position in the India side. His last ODI for them was against South Africa in 2015. He will need a decent knock after he was dismissed for 15, in a push for a World Cup spot.
Proteas XI: 1 Reeza Hendricks 2 Jon-Jon Smuts 3 JP Duminy (capt), 4 David Miller, 5 Farhaan Behardien, 6 Heinrich Klaasen (wk), 7 Andile Phehlukwayo, 8 Chris Morris, 9 Dane Paterson, 10 Junior Dala, 11 Tabraiz Shamsi/Aaron Phangiso
India XI: 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Suresh Raina, 4 Virat Kohli (capt), 5 Manish Pandey, 6 MS Dhoni (wk), 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 9 Jaydev Unadkat, 10 Jasprit Bumrah, 11 Yuzvendra Chahal
– India have only lost one T20I against the Proteas in South Africa: an 11-run defeat at the Wanderers on 30 March 2012.
– David Miller has scored exactly 1,000 T20I runs for South Africa.
What they said:
Photo: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo