Your essential guide to the third T20I between the Proteas and India at Newlands on Saturday.
Expect an entertaining clash as the Proteas look to swat away criticism by ‘winning’ the overall tour 2-1 (having won the Test series 2-1 and lost the ODIs 5-1).
Ending the tour on a positive note will do wonders for the Proteas’ confidence, but they will have to overcome a weak record in Cape Town. They have won just three of their eight matches at Newlands and just one in their last six T20Is there since 2011.
The search continues for a settled World Cup squad. Heinrich Klaasen and Reeza Hendricks have been the poster boys for the Proteas’ game plan, playing with confidence and no fear. This has staked their claim for a permanent spot in both white-ball formats.
Players like Suresh Raina and Manish Pandey are still fighting for a spot in India’s ODI squad ahead of the World Cup. The visitors will enter unfamiliar territory in the shortest format, having never played a T20I at Newlands.
Both sides will be welcomed by a sold-out stadium.
There was a little bit of drizzle around the ground on Friday. The Proteas proceeded with training, however, with the Newlands groundsmen on standby to pull the covers on if need be.
Humid and windy conditions will be expected on Saturday.
The altitude change would be the biggest challenge for the players, after playing in the highveld. The rain in Centurion in the second T20I helped the Proteas with their win and Farhaan Behardien hopes for similar conditions at Newlands.
Players to Watch:
There’s a chance that Christiaan Jonker will come into the side. The Warriors middle-order batsman hasn’t had a chance to represent his country and could be gifted his debut in the must-win clash. The 31-year-old could make way for the out-of-form David Miller.
Jonker scored 290 runs in the T20 Challenge this season, including two fifties, at an average of 29.00.
Miller has struggled against India. He scored 7, 0, 25, 39 and 36 in the ODIs and 9 and 5 in the first two T20Is. He desperately needs a good knock on a ground where he averages 22.00 after six matches.
Yuzvendra Chahal was smashed for 64 runs in the last T20I against the Proteas. He will look for the same quality he churned out in the ODI at Newlands when he finished with figures of 4-46.
Proteas: 1) Reeza Hendricks, 2) JJ Smuts, 3) JP Duminy (capt), 4) David Miller/Christiaan Jonker, 5) Farhaan Behardien, 6) Heinrich Klaasen (wk), 7) Andile Phehlukwayo, 8) Chris Morris, 9) Junior Dala, 10) Dane Paterson/Aaron Phangiso 11) Tabraiz Shamsi.
India: 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/Kuldeep Yadav 10) Yuzvendra Chahal, 11) Jasprit Bumrah/Shardul Thakur
– The Proteas have won just three of their eight matches at Newlands (37.5% win rate).
– Virat Kohli needs just 17 runs to become the first India batsman to score 2,000 T20I runs.
– India are unbeaten in their last four T20I series.
What they said:
The match will begin at 18:00 at Newlands on Saturday.
Photo: Gordon Arons/Gallo Images