It is crunch time for India in their T20 series with South Africa which continues on Tuesday when the two sides meet for the third time, with the action moving from Cuttack to Visakhapatnam for a pivotal game in proceedings.
South Africa head to Visak knowing that it is the first of three opportunities that they have to land the series while India have a simple equation. They need to win this and then the two matches to come in order to win the series.
There will certainly be some shockwaves going through the Indian setup going into this match. While they chose to rest some key players and a couple more have been injured, they would have expected much more from those who have been on show in this series so far, particularly with the ball. If this series is an audition for squad places for the T20 World Cup later in the year there haven’t been many who have made a strong claim yet.
India have struggled with the ball in both matches. What will annoy them is that in both games they have had South Africa where they wanted them after the powerplay but then couldn’t keep the pressure on despite knowing it isn’t the deepest batting unit for the opposition. India didn’t bat particularly well in the second game, although to be fair to them nobody really seemed to know what a decent score was. They’ll certainly need to work that out quickly here.
If you had asked South Africa at the beginning how they would have wanted the first two matches to go their response would have been something like what we have seen so far. They have won both games with a degree of comfort and the real positive thing for them is that there is even more to come from them down the line. There was no Quinton de Kock in the second game and Aiden Markram hasn’t played in either match and they would be two key players.
South Africa didn’t bowl particularly well in the opening match of the series but good teams react to poor showings and that is exactly what the Proteas did. Their bowling in the second game was a whole lot better and we still haven’t seen much from their spin department which should offer encouragement for the touring side. We also haven’t seen much in the way of top order runs and if we see either the spinners come to the party or the top order, South Africa are highly likely to win the series from here.
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You would think the time has come for India to make changes and get some genuine pace into their attack to try and shoot the South African middle order out. They have been holding Umran Malik in reserve but he might be unleashed here.
South Africa haven’t given any indication whether Quinton de Kock has recovered from illness or not yet. Aiden Markram will miss this match after Covid so depending on the fitness of de Kock, South Africa could be unchanged here.
The two T20 internationals which have been held here in the past have both been low scoring and there were a number of Indian Premier League matches which you would have expected to be high scoring on this ground which weren’t so after a fairly low scoring game in the second encounter I think we might see another here, especially with India surely likely to rotate their stock in order to have more firepower at the South Africa middle order.
The run line for this match is at 323.5 which is probably a mid-range number for T20 matches these days but on this ground it might just be a little on the high side. You would imagine law of averages will mean that the South Africa middle order can’t keep delivering the goods, especially if they bat first and don’t have a target to go at. There are no real signs of India getting it going either so the under looks the way to play this one.
Back Under 323.5 runs for a 3/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365