Preview: Dominant India looks too strong for South Africa
Since the first match of the T20I series between India and South Africa was washed out, it was important for both the teams to produce a solid show in the second game at Mohali. India managed to do that by registering a resounding 7-wicket while South Africa looked out of sorts. It was a complete all-round show by the home side and holds them in good stead for the final match of the series at Bengaluru.
India will hence begin favorites for the 3rd and final T20I and would be looking to seal the series with another win. South Africa, meanwhile, have to get their act together if they hope to challenge this mighty Indian team at home.
The Indian batting unit is being led by skipper Virat Kohli whose imperious 72* in the last match won them the game. Shikhar Dhawan looked in good touch too. Opener Rohit Sharma loves the pitch at Bengaluru and might leave a strong impact in the game. The likes of Shreyas Iyer and Hardik Pandya would be itching to have a go have a role if the top order fails.
The Indian bowling unit has plenty of variety. Seamer Deepak Chahar and off-spinner Washington Sundar have proved to be a good opening bowling combo and expect them to stifle the runs for South Africa in the 3rd T20I too. Navdeep Saini is good but does leak runs. Without Bumrah in the side, he would have to be more responsible. India also has options in Ravindra Jadeja and Krunal Pandya if the pitch assists spin.
South Africa’s batting appears to be dependent on captain Quinton de Kock whose 52 in the last game was their highest score. Barring him, the others like Reeza Hendricks and David Miller must step up. Temba Bavuma is expected to hold one end together but the hard-hitting Rassie van der Dussen must give the team that quick fire end.
South Africa’s bowling is inexperienced in these conditions and is led by Kasigo Rabada who didn’t look threatening in the last game. Medium-pacer Andile Phehlukwayo was decent and may have a bigger role in this game. The others like Anrich Nortje and Dwaine Pretorius would have to be better. Leg-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi has had the experience of playing at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium while representing the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League. He might be a one to make an impact for South Africa in this match.
Match prediction – India vs South Africa, 3rd T20I:
The pitch at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru, is expected to be good for batting. There have been 12 T20Is played here so far and totals of 190-plus have been achieved thrice. In the 3rd T20I between India and South Africa expect a good batting surface which will also help the slower bowlers.
The combined total by both the teams in this game should be in the range of 330-350. If the pitch holds, then spinners will have a say.
At the present moment, Team India looks very strong and has all bases covered. South Africa, however, looks unsettled and is heavily dependent on individual performances. India should hence clinch this contest and with it the series.