India vs South Africa 3rd T20I Preview: Changes aplenty as both teams play last T20I before World Cup
It might seem strange but this is actually the first time that India have managed to win a bilateral T20 series against South Africa in India.
They were very close to doing so earlier this year itself but the last match was washed out, giving the series a 2-2 bottomline.
The way India batted in the second T20 was almost the perfect example of how Rohit Sharma has been wanting the side to play for almost a year now. Both KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma got the team off to a blistering start in Guwahati despite the openers being a little circumspect about the pitch to begin with.
While Rahul went on to smash 57 off just 28 balls, Sharma was dismissed on 43 off 37 balls as the 96 run opening partnership was broken at the halfway mark. Virat Kohli then took his time but got brilliant partners in KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav who just kept going.
Suryakumar Yadav was sensational once again as it took a run out to dismiss the batter who was going at 61 off 22 deliveries with a mind-blowing strike rate of 277.27. Had he not been run out, the Indian score could have touched 250 with SKY in with a chance of reaching his second T20 international century.
Dinesh Karthik, the designated finisher, then did the job even as Virat Kohli missed another half century, remaining unbeaten on 49 off 28 balls.
South Africa miss their lengths
All South African bowlers, with the exception of Keshav Maharaj, travelled. South African need to reconsider their bowling composition. Bringing in Lungi Ngidi was the right option despite him being very expensive in Guwahati. South Africa perhaps need to drop Anrich Nortje who has been struggling for rhythm and has gone for plenty despite bowling serious gas.
This way they can include both Shamsi and Ngidi in their playing XI which seems to be a better option for them at the moment.
Bavuma's spot in danger
The place of captain Temba Bavuma is now hanging by a thin thread after he failed to open his account in both the first two matches and perhaps will be given one more game before South Africa's head coach Mark Boucher decides to bite the bullet.
The visitors have a couple of capable and in-form options in Reeza Hendricks and Heinrich Klaasen sitting on the bench. Another consideration can be bringing in Dwaine Pretorius in place of Wayne Parnell to provide more balance to their side.
Chances likely for Chahal, Iyer
India are expected to rest some of their frontline players. Shreyas Iyer is likely to replace Suryakumar Yadav at number 4. There is a possibility of Yuzvendra Chahal coming in in place of Axar Patel as well.
Mohammed Siraj can be auditioned in the playing XI but other than that, India do not have a lot of options at the moment. If Mohammed Shami is back anywhere close to his full fitness, there can be a chance to give him some much needed game time as India sweat over the fitness of Jasprit Bumrah. If there has to be a replacement named, the race is between Mohammed Shami and Deepak 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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