South Africa vs India 2018, 3rd T20I: Match Preview, Team News, Prediction
Cricket fans around the world are eagerly awaiting the finale of the India vs South Africa tour, which has reached its climax with both teams tied 1-1 in the T20I series.
Earlier, South Africa had won the Test series before India beat them soundly in the ODI series. Now, both teams are battling it out for the last hurrah and the glory that a victory in this 3rd and final T20 international will bring with it.
India: Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Jaydev Unadkat, Shardul Thakur.
South Africa: JP Duminy (capt), Farhaan Behardien, Junior Dala, Reeza Hendricks, Christiaan Jonker, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), David Miller, Chris Morris, Dane Paterson, Aaron Phangiso, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi, Jon-Jon Smuts.
The Start: The series has come a full circle with the last match of India's tour of South Africa being played at the same venue as the first game which the Proteas won. The Test match belonged to the fast bowlers from both the teams with 37 out of 40 wickets falling to the pace bowlers.
The Revenge: Both cricketing giants met again on this ground at Cape Town on 7th February in the shorter format of the game and India scored their biggest win against the Proteas in South Africa in terms of runs (124). That match proved to be a completely one-sided affair with India managing 303 in 50 overs, led by Shikhar Dhawan's 76 and a class 160 not out by the Indian skipper Virat Kohli.
The Finish: This is the first time India are playing a T20I at Newlands. South Africa, on the other hand, will be fully aware of their record on this ground. Having won the previous game in a convincing manner at the SuperSport Park, Centurion, the hosts would love to win this series which would provide them with a boost ahead of the Test series against the mighty Australians.
About the venue: The Cape Town pitch is known to aid fast bowlers, with some movement on offer as was seen in the first Test match between the teams. It is not easy to hit sixes here and as confirmed by the South African batsman, Farhaan Behardien, a couple of mishits can result in players getting out caught on the boundary. In the ODI, both Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav took 4 wickets each. Strangely, the team batting first has only won 3 out of 15 times in the T20 internationals played at Cape Town, with South Africa scoring 170 the last time they played, eventually losing to Sri Lanka.
T20 Stats at Newlands, Cape Town
T20I Total matches - 15
Matches won batting first - 3
Matches won bowling first - 12
Average 1st Inns scores - 148
Average 2nd Inns scores - 145
Highest total recorded - 188/9 (20 Ov) by Eng vs ZIM
Lowest total recorded - 101/10 (19.3 Ov) by SL vs Aus
Highest score chased - 181/4 (19.2 Ov) by Aus vs RSA
Lowest score defended - 154/8 (20 Ov) by RSA vs Eng
Indian Cricket Team - There is no confirmed news about the status of both Jasprit Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav. If they are fit, then Virat Kohli will be tempted to play them both. There is a possibility of Chahal being replaced by either Kuldeep Yadav or even Axar Patel, who is handy with the bat down the order.
However, it is possible that Chahal plays this game and gets his revenge on Heinrich Klaasen.
Having seen India's pace battery dominating in the Test match, I would love to see Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar in action along with both Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.
South African Cricket Team - South Africa aren't expected to change their team combination as they would like to keep the winning momentum going. However, Dane Patterson has been a weak link for them and they might be tempted to replace him with an extra spinner. JJ Smuts and David Miller's performances are also a matter of concern for them and they would be hoping for the two to raise their game.
Who will win the 3rd T20I between India and South Africa?
India have already won this tour 7-4 and they will look to end on a positive note by winning the T20I series. Can they make it 8-4? I strongly believe that it would be Virat Kohli's men who head back home with another series in the bag.