South Africa vs Zimbabwe, 1st T20I: Preview and Predicted Playing XI
After drubbing Zimbabwe in the ODI format, South Africa will now look to extend their dominance in the three-match T20I series, when Proteas take on Zimbabwe in the first match at the Buffalo Park in East London on Tuesday, October 9.
Both teams will be going head-to-head for the fourth time in T20Is, with the Proteas coming out victorious on all previous occasions, and once again are favourites to win series.
South Africa last hosted Zimbabwe in a T20I in October 2010. While their most recent clash was during ICC WT20 in 2012, when the Proteas won by 10 wickets. Opting to field, the Proteas restricted Zimbabwe to a sub-par 93, before chasing the target inside 13 overs.
Proteas last featured in a T20I in August 2018 against Sri Lanka, who got the better of them by three wickets.
Meanwhile, the hosts are coming on the back of the ODI series victory against Zimbabwe, which should give them confidence and momentum heading into the T20Is.
Batting: With skipper Faf du Plessis returning to lead the team in final ODI, the squad for the T20Is boasts a few more of the usual suspects in the batting department. Quinton de Kock and David Miller both return to the fold having been left out for the ODIs. Heinrich Klaasen had an impressive outing with a knock of 59 in the final ODI and if the top order fails, he will be their key batsmen in the middle.
Bowling: Imran Tahir topped the wickets charts in the ODI series with 10 wickets and he is expected to replicate it in T20Is as well. While Lungi Ngidi along with Tabraiz Shamsi are the two men, who have proved their worth in the past and will be backed by skipper to get some early breakthroughs.
Expected Playing XI: Faf du Plessis (C), Junior Dala, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Lungisani Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi and Rassie van der Dussen.
On the flipside, the visitors have been outplayed in all three facets of the game and they have not been able to push the Proteas at all in ODI series. Scores of 117, 78 and 228 respectively in the three matches and not being able to play out even 50 overs clearly reflect the struggles the Zimbabwean batsmen have had against a lethal Proteas bowling attack.
Batting: The Zimbabwean batsmen failed miserably in the ODI series and hope for change in fortunes with the change in format. The onus will be mainly on their veterans Hamilton Masakadza and Sean Williams, who were their leading run-getters in ODI series against Proteas, to lay generous contributions with the bat and get the team to a respectable total.
Except these two they will also bank on the likes of Brendan Taylor and Peter Moor to score some crucial runs in the middle.
Bowling: Elton Chigumbura with 16 wickets in 23 T20I innings will be the biggest threat for the South African batsmen. While Tendai Chatara was the pick of the Zimbabwean bowlers in the ODI series with six wickets and will be expected to get some quick wickets in the T20Is as well.
Expected Playing XI: Hamilton Masakadza (C), Solomon Mire, Brendan Taylor, Sean Williams, Peter Moor, Elton Chigumbura, Tendai Chisoro, Kyle Jarvis, Chamu Chibaba, Wellington Masakadza, Tendai Chatara.