India continued their successful tour of South Africa by beating the home side in the first T20I match of the series by 28 runs. Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were the standout performers for Team India and going into the next match at Centurion, India can look at the possibility of winning the T20 series against South Africa as well.
South Africa v India, 2nd T20I: Predicted XI
As they say “If it isn’t broken, why to care to fix it?” India would want to continue with the winning combination and make no changes to their squad for the 2nd T20I against South Africa at Centurion.
India’s Predicted XI vs South Africa
Rohit’s dazzling innings of 21(9 balls) helped India to their best ever powerplay score in T20I cricket and another start like that will certainly take India even closer to winning the T20 series against South Africa.
Shikhar “Jatt Ji” Dhawan perhaps played the best T20I innings by an Indian where he demolished the South African attack by 39-ball innings of 72 with 10 fours and 2 huge sixes. After Virat Kohli, Dhawan has been India’s best batsman on this tour and he would hope to give another quick start for his team in the 2nd T20I match of the series.
Having Raina back in the T20 side, pressure on Kohli to perform in every innings has reduced a bit and we saw that with Raina’s brisk yet effective innings of 26 saw India continue their early momentum from Rohit and Dhawan’s opening wicket partnership.
Batting at number 4, Kohli can even act as the finisher for the Indian T20 as he will have the luxury of playing himself in during the middle and then set himself for the launch at the end. Kohli’s presence in the middle order also frees India’s top 3 batsmen to play aggressively and get the team to a quick start.
The only reason we have Dhoni ahead of Manish Pandey in India’s predicted XI against South Africa is his ability to rotate the strike during the middle overs. India must realize that Dhoni is no longer the finisher he was so batting at number 5 can give Dhoni a new role in the Indian side.
Speaking of a finisher, Manish Pandey can take up that responsibility as he has shown in in the IPL that he can hit a mean and long ball. Manish’s presence in the lower middle order makes India a suitable T20 side whether they are batting first or chasing a steep target.
With such a fantastic top-6 ahead of him, Hardik Pandya has the license to kill from ball 1 and he showed that with a quick-fire cameo of 13 runs(7 balls) which pushed the Indian team beyond the 200-run mark in the 1st T20I. Hardik also contributes with his athleticism in the field and often ends up bowling his full quota of 4 overs.
Bhuvi became the first bowler ever to take 5-wickets for India in all forms of cricket and he must be the first bowler on the team sheet for Virat Kohli at the moment. He always chips in with runs when needed and his bowling is beyond words as he not only restricts the opposition from scoring freely but gets the crucial wickets to peg them back and win the match for India.
The Indian team’s decision to play with just 1 spinner paid off as Unadkat impressed with a 33/1 spell from his 4 overs. Not long ago, Harsha Bhogle called Unadkat as India’s third best T20 bowler and the left-armer must be in line to play in the second T20 match of the series as well.
It was a rare occasion when Bumrah went wicketless in a T20 match but his spell in the middle overs of South African innings was key as it helped India to create pressure and Bhuvneshwar managed to chip in with a clutter of wickets. Both Bumrah and Bhuvi compliment each other well and often hunt in pairs.
In the T20 format, Chahal is a better bowler than Kuldeep Yadav at the moment which saw him get the nod for the first T20 and I expect the same for the second T20 as well. Chahal went for 39 runs from his 4 overs but his wicket-taking ability in T20 cricket is well known which Kuldeep has to fight against to get a spot in India’s T20 side away from home at the moment.
South Africa’s Predicted XI vs India