It’s time for South Africa to gain some respectability back after India took the Proteas to the cleaners in the recent ODI series. The home side rapped up the test series comfortably, but they capitulated in a format that they were expected to excel in.
The home side have three matches too make up for a dismal-one-day series against India who exceeded all expectations. As always, Indian slipper Virat Kohli has been outstanding on a tour that has not only challenged, but defined the countries form away from home in a much better context compared to yesteryear. India’s spiritual leader has manufactured an astonishing-558 runs from the one-day series at an average of 186.00, he’s led from the front in the best way possible with a memorable series with the bat as the T20’s approach. The South Africans have plenty of domestic talent, but they go into this series knowing that India have just derailed them in a format that has been their biggest strength over the past decade, the big question is – can they fire back after a disappointing ODI series with the white ball?
It’s fully-known that India’s top three will be a physical presence at the top of the order in this T20 series, you can almost guarantee that Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli will be keen to keep their opponents on their toes in this bash & crash format. India have plenty of experience, whereas South Africa will be hedging their bets on a fairly-inexperienced team that contains some real risk-takers who have earned their spot in the team. AB de Villiers will most-likely be the focal point at No.3, his stroke-play is dynamic but his game awareness is phenomenal, almost sensing that moment when he’s required to escalate an innings. JP Duminy will captain the side, but the starting lineup remains unpredictable with David Miller in contention to take that middle-order spot in the batting line-up over Farhaan Behardien. With the momentum flowing, India would rate themselves against a battered & bruised Proteas outfit with the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav manufacturing some handy T20 spells with the ball in hand.
The Indian cricket team have plenty of depth in this series, so South Africa will be reliant on their top & middle order to get the job done against a quality bowling outfit, otherwise they could find themselves in trouble yet again. With the pitch expected to play too the batsman’s advantage, India might-well be in for another victory over the hosting side who look a bit uncertain at this stage in the tour. Having only played the three matches in the ODI series, superstar-AB de Villiers is due for a big score after three-consecutive below-standard innings at the crease against India. While India are looking to inject some youth into the side, South Africa have matched them with some of their most prominent domestic performers mixed with some International veterans. It goes without saying, that if India win this T20 series they’ve have just about won the series with the Proteas bragging rights only lying in the test format.
Top 5 fantasy picks | South Africa | 1st T20I | Johannesburg
- AB de Villiers
- Reeza Hendricks
- Aaron Phangiso
- Andile Phehlukwayo
- David Miller
Wildcard pick – Heinrich Klaasen
Top 5 fantasy picks | India | 1st T20I | Johannesburg
- Virat Kohli
- Rohit Sharma
- Hardik Pandya
- Bhuvneshwar Kumar
- Jasprit Bumrah
Wildcard pick – Shreyas Iyer
South Africa (possible) – 1. Reeza Hendricks 2. JJ Smuts 3. AB de Villiers 4. JP Duminy (c) 5. David Miller 6. Heinrich Klassen (wk) 7. Chris Morris/Farhaan Behardien 8. Andile Phehlukwayo 9. Junior Dala 10. Dane Paterson 11. Aaron Phangiso.
India (possible) – 1. Rohit Sharma 2. Shikhar Dhawan 3. Virat Kohli (c) 4. Suresh Raina/Manish Pandey 5. Shreyas Iyer 6. MS Dhoni (wk) 7. Hardik Pandya 8. Bhuvneshwar Kumar 9. Jasprit Bumrah 10. Kuldeep Yadav 11. Yuzvendra Chahal.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.