Cuttack (Odisha) [India], June 11 (ANI): After a seven-wicket loss to South Africa in the first T20I match of the five-match series at home, Team India will be looking forward to levelling the series when they take on the Proteas in the second T20I at Cuttack.
Indian batters performed well in the opening match of the series, with Ishan Kishan (76), Shreyas Iyer (36) and Hardik Pandya (31*), and Rishabh Pant (29) delivering important contributions to take India to 211/4 in their 20 overs.
Ishan Kishan will be looking forward to carrying on with his form in the second match and being on the winning side this time. All eyes will be on Shreyas Iyer as he prepares to battle SA's dangerous pace attack consisting of Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, and a returning Wayne Parnell. Pandya will also be looking forward to continuing his career-best run that has been going on since the start of the recently-concluded IPL 2022 and contribute well with both bat and ball.
Despite keeping Proteas' run flow in their control during first 10 overs of the first clash, Indian bowlers became helpless victims of the David Miller-Russie van der Dussen carnage, as their explosive 131-run stand powered SA to a historic win, completing their highest run-chase ever in the shortest format of the game.
Be it spinners Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal or pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel, everyone will have to take wickets at regular intervals to put the pressure on Proteas. Miller and Dussen will be a huge focus for the bowling line-up given the form they are in.
Pacers Umran Malik and Arshdeep Singh, currently on the sidelines, will be looking forward to possibly playing their first game in the blue jersey.
On the other hand, South Africa will be looking forward to continuing its good run in India. Having not lost a T20I series in India against the Men in Blue, the Proteas will be looking forward to adding another series win to their accomplishments.
For that, the top order led by Quinton De Kock and Temba Bavuma will have to deliver a good start. Miller and Dussen will have to continue their good run with the bat. All-rounder Dwaine Pretorius will also need to make some important contributions with the bat.
South Africa will also need to address the disappointing performances of its bowlers in the first match. Even though India lost the first match, the pressure was on South Africa after the former posted 211/4 at the board. Rabada went wicketless, while Nortje and returning Parnell took one each. The pace attack was not really at its best and could not trouble India much by taking wickets regularly.
It will also be important that the Proteas spinners step up after a poor outing in the first game. Tabrez Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj were smashed all over the park by Indians. The fact that Men in Blue showed them no mercy reflects in their poor economy rates of 13.50 and 14.33 respectively.
No matter what the outcome is, cricket fans are sure to get treated to some hard-hitting action, either live at Barabati Stadium or from the comfort of their homes.
India's T20I squad: Rishabh Pant (Captain) (wk), Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik
South Africa's squad: Temba Bavuma (c), Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Wayne Parnell, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Tristan Stubbs, Rassie van der Dussen, Marco Jansen. (ANI)