South Africa vs India 2018, 2nd T20I: Statistical preview before the Centurion T20I
The Indian team lead the 3-match T20I series 1-0.
The Indian side is on a rampage, like a gushing stream of water which sweeps everything which might seem like an obstacle.
Virat Kohli and his men have not only dismantled the hosts but have created such a vacuum that it has forced several former players to question the very intention of decisions taken during the course of the limited overs series.
After having annihilated the hosts in the six-match ODI series, the visitors have nailed home the point by outclassing the hosts in the first T20 at the Wanderers. Such was the gulf in class between the two teams, that if a whitewash is not achieved by the visitors, it might well be an aberration.
But then what is life without hope, what is cricket without self-belief. As the two teams brace themselves for the second T20I at the SuperSport Park in Centurion, South Africa have their pride, ego, cricketing laurels, and several other things on the line.
However, they are facing an uphill task and with the burden of successive defeats, the climb might well prove to be very steep.
Here is the statistical preview of the second T20I.
# India come into this meeting having won five in a row, their longest run in this form of the game since their seven-game streak between February and March 2016.
# The visitors have claimed victories in four of their five T20Is against the Proteas in South Africa; this will be their first-ever appearance in this format at SuperSport Park, however.
If these numbers were not discouraging enough for the hosts, the following few figures might well force them to shrink and fit into a corner.
# South Africa have won the toss in six completed T20Is since the start of last year but have gone on to lose in five of them; the Proteas tasted defeat by 28 runs in the opening game of this three-match series having elected to chase against India.
And then there is the little matter of containing the Indian captain Virat Kohli, who is sauntering out, wielding his willow and pummeling the bowlers, eroding their mere existence.
Now Kohli does not need any specific incentives to score runs, but South Africa will be especially wary in the second T20I.
# The Indian captain is only 18 runs away from becoming only the third batsman ever to reach 2,000 in T20 Internationals; he currently has the highest average of anyone to register 10+ knocks in the format (52.2).
For all the headlines, which the batsmen have hogged, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has quietly pushed ahead in this series and many believe that he has now become the complete bowler for India across all the three formats.
# Bhuvneshwar Kumar comes into this game having claimed 5/24 against the Proteas; only once before has a bowler registered better figures for India in T20I cricket (Chahal, 6/25 v England in 2017).
South Africa have generally prospered at the SuperSport Park, and would ideally want their key players to stand up and be counted.
# No surprises that Virat Kohli has been India's leading run-scorer in the format since 2017. He is followed by Rohit Sharma, who started off brilliantly in the first match.
# South Africa suffered a big jolt when AB de Villiers was ruled out of the series owing to an injury to the left knee. He has been their most prolific batsmen since 2017.
# Following are the bowling stats for the key bowlers who might have a decisive say over the match.
Statistical inputs from Opta