India will look to seal the three-match series against South Africa with a win in the third T20I at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.
After the first match in Dharamsala was washed out without a single ball being bowled, skipper Virat Kohli helped India cruise to a comprehensive win over the Proteas in the previous match, giving them a 1-0 lead in the series.
But it could be another frustrating, weather-hit day on Sunday – a thunderstorm is due to hit Bengaluru in the evening and there is a high chance of rain into the night. Prospects of play look slim.
India: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (C), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (WK), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini.
South Africa: Quinton de Kock (C) (WK), Reeza Hendricks, Temba Bavuma, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Bjorn Fortuin, Kagiso Rabada, Junior Dala, Tabraiz Shamsi.
The match starts at 7 pm IST.
Things are looking good for the Men in Blue right now, with the team ticking all boxes. There is a great blend of youth and experience in the side, and that bodes well for India, especially with the T20 World Cup in the horizon.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant will once again be under the scanner after a disappointing performance with the bat in Mohali.
What he needs might be the delicious prospect of the shorter boundaries in Bengaluru, provided rain gods relent.
Skipper Virat Kohli, who overtook Rohit Sharma as the highest run-getter in T20Is in the last match with a sublime unbeaten 72, will look to carry his form into the final game of the series.
The talismanic batsman will be key for India as usual and will be gunning to ensure a 50-plus average in Tests, ODIs and T20Is.
Deepak Chahar, who impressed yet again with his bowling in the powerplay in the second T20I, will be looking to cement his place in the squad ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup to be held in Australia next year.
Not having sealed the series completely, going into the finale, India might not be tempted to test their bench strength.
Hence, it might be an unchanged eleven that the Indian think-tank would be announcing tomorrow.
South Africa will be hoping to get their first win under Quinton De Kock’s captaincy as they look to level the series.
They handed T20i debuts to three debutants and had de Kock in charge of the 20-over team for the first time.
With a less experienced squad – and with one eye on next summer’s World T20 – they are outsiders for this match too.
It is not possible for South Africa to win this series outrightly. They had previously won their last five bilateral series in the format, but it will be an uphill task against an Indian team brimming with confidence.
Quinton de Kock, the Proteas’ star batsman made a good contribution in the last match at Mohali with his half century.
The wicket-keeper was looking dangerous till his stay at the crease was cut short by a diving Kohli. The left-handed batsman was not able to take home his team to a good total as he was dismissed by Navdeep Saini.
The Indians will be looking to bowl him out as soon as they could. As for South Africa, de Kock needs to strike again and play a captain’s innings this time too.
Another player who can strike terror in the opposition camp is Kagiso Rabada.
The fast bowler has made his name in international cricket, had a bad day last match as he was not able to pick a single wicket.
He is capable of making a huge impact with his bowling skills, and can prove to be a key player for South Africa in the upcoming match.
As of now, with how things stand, South Africa are too inexperienced to challenge a team like India, which is next to invincible, in home conditions.
The Proteas’ batting lacks the depth to fire away all 20 overs, and the bowling is too predictable and lacks teeth in crucial match situations.
On the other hand, Indians have fewer problems to reckon with, and are definitely the more balance of the two sides.
The Bengaluru wicket will be a belter for the batsmen, and provided rain gods relent for most parts of the contest, it should be a great match.
Team CricWizz predicts a victory for India in the third T20I against South Africa.