India vs South Africa 2nd T20I Preview: Bringing in Lungi Ngidi can be the game-changer for Proteas
India are likely to persist with Ravichandran Ashwin, Rishabh Pant and Deepak Chahar.
Springing a surprise
South Africa might have been preparing themselves for low bounce, sluggish pitches and the ball spinning square in the India series. The last thing they would have imagined is for them to be reeling at 9/5 on a green seamer.
It was a good toss to win for India in the series opener as the Indian batters would have found themselves in trouble too had they been put into bat first.
There was a smattering of green on the pitch in Thiruvananthapuram but more than that, what assisted the Indian new ball bowlers Arshdeep Singh and Deepak Chahar was the swing on offer.
To go along with that, the South African batters were not really sure of what a good total would be on that pitch. They would have perhaps taken a cue from the recently concluded India-Australia series and would have wanted to post at least 180 on the board.
Exhibition of swing bowling
This is where they faltered as this was a completely different beast altogether with the ball moving around corners and there was an exhibition of swing bowling by Deepak Chahar and Arshdeep Singh as they had the ball on string. The duo moved the ball both ways with minimal change in their action and got the rewards.
Only Aiden Markram could reach double figures among South Africa's top 6 which included four ducks and three golden ducks. For the team to even cross 100 was a big achievement.
It wouldn't have been possible but for Keshav Maharaj's 35-ball 41.
All the Indian bowlers either picked up wickets or were extremely economical and made the job easy for the Indian batters. However, the way India's innings started off, it was clear that it wouldn't be a walk in the park by any stretch of imagination as the ball was still swinging around.
SKY at it again
After the early dismissals of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, while KL Rahul scraped through for his runs, Suryakumar Yadav decided to take the attack to the opposition and it was his back to back sixes off Anrich Nortje which almost killed the chase.
SKY was the first one to reach his milestone, bringing up an unbeaten half century off just 33 balls while striking at 151 as he appeared to be batting on a completely different strip.
KL Rahul followed suit with a brilliant six over square leg off Tabrez Shamsi to bring up his half century and hit the winning runs with the same shot.
Kagiso Rabada was South Africa's best bowler and gave away just 16 runs while dismissing Rohit Sharma with an absolute peach.
Lungi Ngidi has to play
Coming to the team changes, South Africa can look to replace Anrich Nortje with Lungi Ngidi. Nortje has a lot of pace but can lack control at times. Ngidi has been bowling extremely well over the last couple of months and his slower ball can be a real wicket taking option.
In all probability, South Africa would continue to go in with two spinners given their plans for the upcoming T20 World Cup but if they can somehow trust Markram to be their second spinner, Marco Jansen can be a really good addition to the team and chip in with both bat and ball.
At the moment, only one out of Wayne Parnell, Marco Jansen and Dwaine Pretorius appears likely to play. India have been hit by a back injury to Jasprit Bumrah and might have to persist with Chahar.
Predicted Playing XIs
India - KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma (c), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Axar Patel, Harshal Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Arshdeep Singh, Deepak Chahar
South Africa - Quinton de Kock (wk), Temba Bavuma (c), Rilee Rossouw, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Tristan Stubbs, Wayne Parnell/Marco Jansen/Dwaine Pretorius, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje/Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi
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