With an outstanding display of skill by the Men in Blue in the first match of the T20I series, India now looks forward to sealing the deal against South Africa on Wednesday. After a highly competitive 1-2 loss in the Tests series followed by the 5-1 ODI triumph, the Indian team has returned to the track with much expectation to foil another attempt of the South African team as they struggle to survive in the series.
Check Live Score of India vs. South Africa T20I here.
The Indian team won the first T20I at Johannesburg by 28 runs and another win on Wednesday would help India climb up the ICC T20I Rankings to take the second spot after Pakistan, unless Australia beats New Zealand in the T20 tri-series final as well in which case India would continue to stay on its present third position.
Meanwhile, everyone awaits the return of Virat Kohli to the field, who staggered off in the latter stage of the game on Sunday with a left hip problem. Even though the team management expects Kohli to be present for the toss on Wednesday, this injury in the light of the previous knee injury Kohli suffered in the first ODI at Durban, has given rise to much concern about the cricketer’s well-being. If at all, the player is absent, Shreyas Iyer would come in as a replacement to enable Kohli to take time off and sit out the final T20I in Cape Town as well in lieu of his hectic schedule over the next three months. While the fitness ruling is still pending, more changes can be expected in the playing eleven as the pitch at Supersport Park has played slowly throughout the series and there might be the need to include two spinners in the playing eleven. With ‘chinaman’ Kuldeep Yadav, and left-arm spinner Axar Patel, both under consideration, it is yet to be seen Suresh Raina’s role in the upcoming match.
Suresh Raina’s elevation to number three was a surprising element for India in Johannesburg after the team management deemed 200 a par-score on the pitch and sent Raina up for attack during powerplay overs while Kohli was held back to stabilize the middle order. With MS Dhoni still backing the shortest format and Kohli’s ‘demotion’ to number four spot, the former skipper is also reluctant to bat at a higher position especially with his proclivity for finishing off the innings.
Meanwhile, AB de Villiers’s knee injury has sent the South African team into a frenzy to find a solution as the team struggles without a replacement. While JP Duminy still is adamant that their strategy to press the refresh button and including new players on the squad at Wanderers, including the decision to bowl short to India’s top-order in power play, was a sound decision that lacked only proper execution, it can be assumed that the same playing eleven might resume in the field. Yet, it remains to be seen if Centurion pitch allows them to try out the short-ball ploy again or if the Proteas might have to come up with a new strategy. In any circumstance, much can be expected from the oncoming match on Wednesday.