A depleted South Africa would come hard at India in the second T20I at Centurion on Wednesday to level the three-match T20I series. South Africa have lost the services of AB de Villiers due to injury, but the new-look Proteas would look to restore parity in the series. India would like to carry on the winning momentum and wrap up the T20I series as well. Cricwizz takes a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the two teams ahead of second T20I between South Africa and India.
Strong batting order: India have been blessed with a strong batting order comprising openers – Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. Virat Kohli was injured in the first T20I, but reports suggest he would be fit to play. Manish Pandey played a good cameo in the first T20I. India would look to give KL Rahul a chance in the playing XI to test the middle-order. Overall, there is a competition for places in the middle-order and that’s a good headache to have rather to worry how to fill up the spots.
Law of averages: India have won seven matches out of last 8 on this tour so far across format. The winning run started in third Test in Johannesburg and India had easily looked the best team out of the two. But momentum is easily lost in the shortest format. Hence, India would need to keep their intensity high and be ruthless in their approach in every game.
Squad: Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, YS Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadkat.
South Africa strengths:
Home conditions and new look: With seniors rested, South Africa sported a new look in the T20Is. Opener Reeza Hendricks blasted 70 in the loss in the first T20I. Farhaan Behardien supported with a useful cameo of 39. The two gave India a scare in the first T20I before Kohli and his men bounced back to win the match. South Africa would be hoping that their young guns fire in the second match to level the series.
South Africa weaknesses:
Inexperienced bowling attack: South Africa has fielded unknown new-ball bowlers in Dane Paterson, Junior Dala and they went for runs at more than 11 runs per over. Other inexperience bowlers too fared poorly. Hence, it will be an easy task for Indian batsmen to milk the South African bowlers and win the second match and thus the series.
South Africa squad: JP Duminy, David Miller, Chris Morris, A Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi, Farhaan Behardien, Heinrich Klaasen, Junior Dala, Reeza Hendricks, Christiaan Jonker, Dane Paterson, Aaron Phangiso, JJ Smuts
India will start favourite as they look more in control of their game now. South Africa have a young and inexperience team and can put up a better show in the second T20I as nothing can be predicted in this format. Our vote goes to India in the second T20I.
Possible winner: India