India vs South Africa 2nd T20I: Preview and Prediction
In the aftermath of the rain-marred game in Durban, the Indian cricket team, led by the dynamic Suryakumar Yadav, eagerly anticipates a showdown against Aiden Markram‘s South African side in the second T20I at Saint George’s Park in Gqeberha on Tuesday.
Regrettably, the much-anticipated three-match T20I series between India and Proteas stumbled out of the gate with the first match in Durban abandoned without a ball being bowled on Sunday, leaving cricket enthusiasts high and dry.
While the looming second T20I in Gqeberha carries a shadow of potential rain, there remains a glimmer of hope for fans to witness an eagerly awaited clash between these two formidable sides.
While India will welcome back a few of the superstars who were involved in the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup final as Shubman Gill, Ravindra Jadeja, and Mohammed Siraj returning to international cricket while South Africa hasn’t played a single fixture since losing to Australia in the semi-final of the quadrennial tournament.
What have they done so far?
The Proteas have faced challenges in their recent T20I campaigns on home soil as West Indies managed to overcome the Proteas in a three-match series in March 2023, securing a 2-1 victory.
The struggle continued for Proteas against Australia in August/September 2023, where the visitors dominated the three-match series with a convincing 3-0 win. The South African team’s recent T20I record reflects a downturn, having not secured a series win since their triumph against Ireland in August 2022.
In their recent T20I encounters, India showcased their prowess with victories against Ireland in a three-match series held in Ireland, securing a triumphant 2-0 result. A similar success followed against Australia in a five-match series in India, where the Men in Blue emerged victorious with a commanding 4-1 scoreline.
Leading the charge against Ireland, Bumrah not only captained the team but also earned accolades as the Player of the Series. Meanwhile, in the T20 series against Australia, Indian spinner Ravi Bishnoi’s outstanding performance distinguished him as the standout player, ultimately clinching the Player of the Series award.
Head to Head Record
India and South Africa have clashed 25 times in T20Is, revealing a closely contested rivalry. The Men in Blue emerged victorious in 13 clashes, while Proteas triumphed in 10 matches, with 2 matches ending in no result.
The result of the last match between the two teams before the ongoing series favored the Proteas, who won by 5 wickets during the T20I World Cup 2022. Notably, South Africa has not won a T20I series against India since 2015.
Aiden Markram (South Africa): Aiden Markram, the No. 3 ICC Men’s T20I Batter stands out with his remarkable form in white-ball cricket. In his last ten T20I innings, the Proteas’ captain has notched up five scores of 30 or more, showcasing his prowess as a hard-hitting batter. During the recent series against Australia in August/September, Markram achieved the milestone of crossing 1000 runs in T20I cricket.
The Centurion-born batsman boasts a track record of 33 innings for Proteas, amassing 1063 runs at an impressive average of 39.37 and a striking strike rate close to 150. Moreover, his ability to roll his arms might add an extra dimension, potentially making him a match-winner with both bat and ball.
Shreyas Iyer (India): Shreyas Iyer, a pivotal player for Team India, may emerge as the linchpin on the St. George’s Park pitch, known for its bowler-friendly nature where a challenging chase of 170-180 awaits. His adaptable playing style suits these conditions, seamlessly transitioning between anchoring the innings and unleashing a barrage of boundaries when the team demands maximums.
In a recent clash against Australia, the 29-year-old batter showcased his mettle, rescuing the team with a stellar knock of 53 runs off 37 balls, propelling India to a respectable score of 160. With 47 innings under his belt, Iyer has accumulated over 1100 runs at an average of 30.67 and a strike rate of 136.13.
Predicted Playing XIs
India: Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav ©, Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Siraj, Mukesh Kumar
South Africa: Reeza Hendricks, Matthew Breetzke, Tristan Stubbs, Aiden Markram ©, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), David Miller, Marco Jansen, Gerald Coetzee, Keshav Maharaj, Lizaad Williams, Tabraiz Shamsi
The upcoming T20I clash between the unfamiliar-in-this-venue Indian side and the experienced Proteas promises to be a thrilling match. With both teams boasting a blend of seasoned veterans and promising young talents, this series is set to offer an exciting spectacle.
Considering the venue’s familiarity advantage lies with the hosts, the Proteas might hold the edge, having clinched victories in two out of the three T20Is played at Gqeberha.