India vs South Africa, 2nd T20I Preview: South Africa look to challenge India's supremacy at home once again
South Africa stunned India to win by 7 wickets in the first T20 International at Delhi.
Cuttack's relaid outfield
The team chased down India's target of 212 -- the highest total at the venue, the highest T20 run chase against India and the highest chase by South Africa in T20 Internationals.
The caravan now moves to the Barabati stadium in Cuttack. The outfield in Cuttack has been recently relaid, introducing a sand based outfield to allow the drainage to function better in case of rain delays.
Two T20s have been played at the venue with 180 being the highest recorded score, by India against Sri Lanka and 87 being the lowest total.
In fact, India were bowled out for just 92 runs at the venue against South Africa in a match between the two teams back in 2015.
India go hammer and tongs
India batted well in the series opener and had fortune favouring them as well as several runs came off the edge in the powerplay.
Opener Ishan Kishan who got off to a scratchy start came to his own, smashing South African left arm spinner Keshav Maharaj for back to back sixes. Kishan was finally dismissed for 76 off 48 deliveries, going at a strike rate of over 150 with the help of 11 boundaries and 3 sixes.
Shreyas Iyer and Ruturaj Gaikwad also made contributions with 36 and 23 runs respectively. Rishabh Pant then accelerated along with Hardik Pandya and was finally dismissed in the last over for a well-made 16-ball 29.
Pandya remained unbeaten on 31 as India got to 211, their highest total against South Africa in T20 Internationals.
Wayne Parnell was the pick of the bowlers for South Africa. The rest of the bowlers went the distance as India pushed South Africa in a hole, with the required rate at 12.5 after the 10 over mark, which bloated to 14 RPO at one point.
Rassie van der Dussen who was batting at almost a run a ball till 25 runs shifted gears and went after the Indian bowling once his catch was dropped by Shreyas Iyer.
Van der Dussen and David Miller joined hands for an unbeaten 131 run partnership which is the highest fourth wicket partnership for South Africa in T20 Internationals. While RVD remained unbeaten on 76 off 46 balls, David Miller was even more glorious with 64 not out off 31 deliveries at a strike rate of over 200.
Courtesy of the two, South Africa's team strike rate went through the roof in the last 5 overs and they heroically chased down the target with 5 balls to spare.
Newly appointed captain Rishabh Pant made a couple of glaring errors like the use of five different bowlers in the powerplay and allowing strike bowler Yuzvendra Chahal to bowl just 2 overs.
The Indian bowlers did miss their lengths but were decent over all. One has to doff their hat to David Miller and Rassie van der Dussen for some world class batting.
Marco Jansen to be included
However, India are unlikely to panic as they would know that despite their 12-match winning streak in T20Is being broken, they do have the team to turn it around quite quickly.
South Africa on the other hand missed the services of Aiden Markram due to COVID-19. They will perhaps replace Keshav Maharaj with Marco Jansen in this next match to provide themselves with a very useful variation in their attack. Jansen can trouble Indian batters with his pace and bounce.
Predicted Playing XIs
India - Ishan Kishan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (c & wk), Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, Axar Patel, Harshal Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Avesh Khan
South Africa - Quinton de Kock (wk), Temba Bavuma (c), Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Tristan Stubbs, Wayne Parnell, Dwaine Pretorius, Marco Jansen, Tabraiz Shamsi, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje
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