Euro 2020 Special

India vs South Africa 2nd T20I preview: India looking to seal the series

India and South Africa will meet in their second T20I at the Barsapara Cricket Ground in Guwahati on Sunday, October 2nd. The match is scheduled to begin at 5 pm local time.

For India, this is a chance to seal the series after winning the first match in Thiruvananthapuram by eight wickets. The visitors know that they need to raise their game, especially with the bat, if they have hopes of getting back on level terms.


Bumrah blow

The biggest news from an Indian perspective ahead of this match is that pace bowler Jasprit Bumrah has been ruled out of the World Cup with a recurring back injury that has now plagued him for several years.

Having been rested for the West Indies series and the Asia Cup, he only made his return in the second T20I against Australia a week ago, but he complained of a back pain during a training session ahead of the first game against the South Africans and was sent for a scan.

That has revealed that he has a stress fracture and he will be out of action for a minimum of four to six weeks, although it could be significantly longer.

That is a huge blow to India’s chances in Australia because a fully fit Bumrah is India’s best bowler, especially given that all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja had already been ruled out of the World Cup.

And given that his expected strike partner Bhuvneshwar Kumar has struggled in the death overs in recent matches, India’s pace attack is suddenly looking depleted.


Opportunity knocks for Singh and Chahar

Bumrah’s misfortune, however, represents a potential opportunity for others. Both Arshdeep Singh and Deepak Chahar exploited the conditions in the first match to the maximum showing their ability to not only bowl with pace but also to get the ball to swing as well.

Another good performance from the pair in Guwahati and they might just have forced their way into the World Cup team.

And veteran Mohammad Shami, who was named as a reserve for the World Cup, could find himself elevated to the full squad now.


Kumar in rich vein of form

Suryakumar Yadav is in a rich vein of form right now and his half century in the first match saw him surpass Shikhar Dhawan’s record for the most T20I runs by an Indian player in a calendar year.

He also surpassed Mohammad Rizwan’s world record of T20I sixes hit in a year. He will be looking to improve his statistics even further in this match.


The weather

Although the temperatures on Sunday are expected to be in the late 20 degrees Celsius, conditions overhead are expected to be cloudy and there is the risk of the odd rain shower.

The conditions should help bowlers from both sides and some swing through the air can be expected.


The pitch

Guwahati is not known as a high scoring ground despite having relatively short boundaries.  The side that wins the toss will want to bat second.

This is only the second time that India will have played a T20I here, their last being against Sri Lanka two years ago. That match was abandoned without a ball being played due to rain.

Hopefully, the expected crowd will have better luck this time and get to see a full evening’s play.


Predicted teams

India are expected to be unchanged which means that Rishabh Pant will retain his place as wicket-keeper/batter.

South Africa may consider bringing in Lungi Ngidi to boost their pace attack, but as they intend to go into the World Cup with two spinners, they may choose to field the same starting XI as well.



Given how the South African batters failed to cope with the swinging ball in the first match, there must be questions about their technique against such bowling. And with conditions expected to be overcast, they must look forward to more of the same.

India have had to absorb the news of the Bumrah injury, but now must prepare for life without him.

It may not be a high-scoring game, but India appear the better equipped team from both a batting and bowling perspective and should wrap up the series by the end of Sunday evening.




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