Match Preview – India vs South Africa, South Africa in India 2022/23, 2nd T20I

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With two thirds of this series still to be played, it is reasonable to assume that this is the sentiment prevailing among most of the cricket consuming public in India. You can’t blame them, because a: it’s Jasprit Bumrah, b: there’s a World Cup right around the corner, and c: information about his injury is sparse and shrouded in a black mist.

But for that World Cup there are still two T20Is, for both India and South Africa. India will want to prepare for the possibility of a global tournament without Bumrah. They will be giving Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik some time in between, something they haven’t had much of in recent weeks.

If India win Sunday night’s match in Guwahati, they will close a T20I series win against South Africa at home for the first time in four attempts. South Africa will want to avoid that and maintain their impressive track record in this country.

So there’s still a lot to play for, even if your attention is elsewhere.

Shape guide

India WWWLW (last five T20Is completed, most recent first)
South Africa LWWWW

In the spotlight

He has been one of the standout fast bowlers in the IPL for the past two seasons, but Harshal Patel’s time in an India shirt hasn’t been quite as satisfying. He just came off a rib injury and a tough run on brutally flat fields against Australia so his recent skinny patch may not be a big cause for concern but India will hope he finds his best rhythm soon as there is always significantly more hit the other quicks if Bumrah isn’t there.

Tabraiz Shamsi is number 2 among the T20I bowlers, but India’s batters didn’t seem to know this when they faced him. Shamsi has won in five matches in and against India this year only one wicket (average 129.00) while getting more than ten runs per over. The thing about his left arm wrist spin is that a big wicket-haul always seems to be around the corner. Could Sunday be his day?

Team news

India will likely stick with a similar combination to the one in Thiruvananthapuram, with R Ashwin as one of their two spinners, but could potentially push Pant up the rankings to give him more time in the middle.

India (probably): 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 KL Rahul, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Suryakumar Yadav, 5 Rishabh Pant (wk), 6 Dinesh Karthik, 7 Axar Patel, 8 Harshal Patel, 9 R Ashwin, 10 Deepak Chahar, 11 Arshdeep Singh

With the South African squad remaining in India for three ODIs before moving on to Australia, a spot of rest and rotation can be expected.

South Africa (possibly): 1 Quinton de Kock (wk), 2 Temba Bavuma (capt), 3 Rilee Rossouw, 4 Aiden Markram, 5 David Miller, 6 Tristan Stubbs, 7 Wayne Parnell/Dwaine Pretorius, 8 Keshav Maharaj, 9 Kagiso Rabada, 10 Anrich Nortje/Lungi Ngidi, 11 Tabraiz Shamsi

Location and conditions

“It was hot in training yesterday, man. It was really hot,” India coach Rahul Dravid said when asked about the conditions during his pre-match press conference. “We are lucky that the game is in the evening.”

Good luck, yes, because a maximum of 36 degrees Celsius is forecast for Sunday. But maybe not so lucky as rain is also expected – with a higher chance after 7pm.

Dravid suggested the pitch for Sunday’s game “looks good” while Wayne Parnell, the South African all-rounder, hadn’t had a chance to get a closer look at the game before his press conference. “This wicket, from what I’ve seen from the dressing room, looks about 22 yards,” he said with the most sincere faces. “As far as I could tell, it also looks a bit brown.”

Statistics and trivia

  • South Africa (1.25) is the only team to have managed a positive win-loss ratio in T20Is against India in India.
  • David Miller (1903 runs) needs 32 runs to pass JP Duminy and become South Africa’s most productive go-getter in T20Is. Quinton de Kock (1895) is also not far behind.
  • Suryakumar Yadav is 24 runs away from completing 1000 runs in T20Is. When he gets there in Guwahati, he becomes the third fastest Indian to the goal (31 innings). Virat Kohli (27) and KL Rahul (29) are the fastest Indians to 1000 runs.

Quotes

“I think Harshal is a mentally strong cricketer. He is a fantastic cricketer, and if you look at his performances over the past two years, they are absolutely phenomenal for the franchise he plays in. Even in international cricket for us, he has played some really good spells he prepares very well he practices very hard it can happen he has also been injured a bit and it takes some time to get used to but i thought he cast a phenomenal last over against Australia in Hyderabad Even the last over against South Africa in Trivandrum In both Hyderabad and Trivandrum he threw fantastic last overs I think eight [seven] runs and seven [six] runs, and he got the wicket from Tim David, and in a tight game, in a close game, that can make a big difference.”
Rahul Dravic doesn’t worry about the shape of Harshal Patel

“Personally, from what I’ve seen over the past few months, I think he’s one of the best T20 hitters right now. He scores 360 [degrees], which is very difficult for bowlers to try to defend. I think it’s just about being strong and taking every ball as it comes. I think the other night [in Thiruvananthapuram]he played some really, really nice shots, but he also got lucky here and there, and maybe on another night that’s at hand, but having said that, he’s definitely been a man I’ve been with a lot over the past few years I’ve had fun watching it for months, he certainly plays very, very good cricket.”
Wayne Parnell is effusive in his praise for Suryakumar Yadav

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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