The India and South Africa T20 series continues on Sunday and you sense it has already hit an important mark even though the meeting in Cuttack is only the second game of a five-match series, so still relatively early days.
South Africa took the honours in the opening match on Thursday and if they win this one as well they will have more than one hand on the series win. India are under pressure already in this game as they really could do with levelling up the series.
When India posted more than 200 in Delhi on Thursday I think most people expected them to not just win the game but win it with plenty to spare. All of their bowlers had been enjoying decent seasons in the Indian Premier League recently and Delhi isn’t a venue known for big scores, so even though the pitch looked great, the assumption was that the home side had more than enough on the board to enable them to get the job done.
Those who did think that were sorely mistaken though because their bowlers just weren’t able to really get on top in the run chase and in the end the Indians fell to quite a tame defeat. I would imagine that will have dented their confidence a touch going into this match, especially if they end up batting first in it. They need to bowl much better here but on the plus side if they are able to do that then their batters look more than good enough to get the job done.
Not many gave the tourists a hope in the opening game for a couple of reasons. The first of those being that on paper at least they look comfortably the weaker and less balanced team of the two while these conditions would have been expected to suit the home side more. The other reason why most expected an Indian win is because a lot of the South African players hadn’t played much cricket recently and certainly little in these conditions.
Those scripts certainly were not read by the South Africa players though. Although they struggled with the ball in hand they certainly made up for it with a brilliant run chase, a chase they paced excellently and which was well within their grasp from a fair way out. They will be hoping to bowl better in this match so that they don’t need to score as many runs in this match but how that plays out remains to be seen.
Sign up for a Boylesports account to get up to £25 in free bets! Perfect offer for this series! Click the image below for this great offer! New accounts only. 18+ T&Cs apply. Gamble Aware.
There will be calls for India to make changes to their bowling attack but it appears that they are going to go in with an unchanged XI for this match which means we will have to wait to see Umran Malik and Arshdeep Singh.
South Africa are going to be without Aiden Markram for this match and the next one so there is a chance that they also name an unchanged side, although in the heat the first game was played in it wouldn’t be a surprise if a seamer is rotated with Lungi Ngidi waiting in the wings.
The two T20 internationals to be played on this ground in the past were both low scoring so it is interesting to see that in the build-up to this game Wayne Parnell said this will be another tricky encounter for the bowlers. The pitch in Delhi was a lot better for batting than it normally is so it might be that now crowds are able to return there is a real emphasis on getting a wicket which offers entertaining cricket for those in the stands to enjoy.
With that in mind I’ll take the over in the runs in this match. The temperatures are meant to soar again so there isn’t going to be a lot of chasing balls down when they are past fielders and obviously the outfield will be fast anyway. Both sides showed much better form with the bat than the ball in the opening game and there might have been more to come from both teams as well. I’m happy to go against history and go for a high scoring game here.
Back Over 323.5 runs for a 3/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365