Analysing Indian batsmen ahead of the South Africa series - Sportzwiki
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Analysing Indian batsmen ahead of the South Africa series

Analysing Indian batsmen ahead of the South Africa series

Indian T20 and ODI series announced today (Sunday), September 20, 2015 for the historic Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela series. The series will start with three match T20 series. Indian Selectors led by Sandeep Patel sit in a meeting  in Bangalore, where India ‘A’ is playing Bangladesh, along with captain MS Dhoni and BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur.

There is no surprise in the batting line up. The batting lineup is comprised of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ajinkya Rahane and Ambati Rayudu. An experienced bunch of batsman. India and South Africa so far played only 4 T20Is since 2006. India’s first T20 match was also South Africa. India have upper hand  in the match winning ratio 6-2.

When India will take on South Africa at Dharamsala, the series will be India’s second series in the last one year, and first in India since 2013. Most of the Indian batsman except  Ajinkya Rahane and Ambati Rayudu, who played in the two-match series in Zimbabwe,  remaining batsmen played their last T20I in England one year ago, September 7, 2014 at Edgbaston, Birmingham, which India lost by three runs. The second string team led by Ajinkya Rahane drew the series 1-1 in Zimbabwe. The only T20 experience,  most of the Indian batsmen have in IPL cricket. This is the first series where more than one match will be played between India and South Africa. So, now we will discuss, how Indian batsmen are prepared for this T20I series and their T20I record against South Africa.

Shikhar Dhawan

The left-handed Indian opener was ruled out of India’s tour of Sri Lanka after the first Test at Galle. Shikhar scored 134 in the first innings, but finger injury while fielding ruled him out from India historic Test series win Sri Lankan since 1993. But, Dhawan is not fit for the series. He has an astonishing record against South Africa. His match winning 114 in Cardiff  in the 2013 Champions trophy  and 137 in Melbourne in the 2015 World Cup against the illustrative bowling attack Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel  have made him the best batsman Indian batsman against South Africa. India have never won against South Africa in the World Cup, but blistering innings helped India to notch up first win over them. So, it is expected that Dhawan will keep his swansong against South Africa in his first T20 against the Proteas at Dharamsala.

Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma played six T20 matches against South Africa with an average of 45.25. Rohit Sharma has a memorable match against South Africa. It was in 2007 inaugural ICC World T20 in South Africa, 21 years old Rohit was making his batting debut at Kingsmead, Durban. Rohit will cherish his innings throughout his life as when he came to bat, India had already lost four wickets in the first 10 overs. The Group stage exit was waiting for India, but the young lad played a 52 runs innings and built a 85 runs partnership with Dhoni that changed the course of the match. Bowlers got 153 runs to defend, South Africa lost the match by 37 runs. Since then his swan-song against the Protea bowling continues. In 2011, when India were touring South Africa Rohit Sharma scored 53 runs at Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban, that match India won by 26 runs. Rohit is in good form in Sri Lanka Test series victory so, Rohit, who is more suitable in shorter formats, will keep his bat do the talking.

 Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli played four matches against South Africa with an average of 51. His best performance came in 2014 World T20 second semifinal in Bangladesh when India were chasing South Africa’s massive 173. Kohli played a 72 off 44 runs innings to cruise India to victory in 19.1 over. Virat after his long string of failure since the World Cup century against Pakistan regained his poise in Sri Lanka, where captain Kohli  scored a hundred and 78 and led India to 2-1 Test series victory.

Suresh Raina

Suresh Raina will back in international action after four months of vacation. On the day of team selection he scored hundred after two consecutive failures against Bangladesh ‘A’. Match winner Raina performed well in the World Cup and in Bangladesh, even when India lost the series 2-1.  

He is the only Indian batsman who hit T20I century against South Africa. In 2010 ICC World T20 in Gros Islet, West Indies, he scored 101 in India’s total 186, only Yuvraj Singh managed to give an assistance with a 88 runs partnership. India won the match 14 runs. In 2012 World T20 in Sri Lanka, India were playing a do or die match for a knockout stage qualification match while South Africa, already out of the tournament,  were playing for a consolation victory. India had to all out  South Africa in 16 over that did not happen. Instead the match converted into a thriller as India managed 1 run escape. Suresh Raina scored 45, highest by an Indian batsman. In the 2015 World Cup Down Under, he has an outstanding outing, scored 74 against Pakistan, scored a match-winning 110 against Zimbabwe, who made India to struggle at one stage of the match. And scored 65 against in the quarterfinal against Bangladesh. But, when India were touring in Bangladesh, he has been throwing his wicket in the middle of his innings. It is expected that, at home, he will back in his devastating mood which he uses to display in T20 cricket.

 

MS Dhoni

The 33 year old Indian captain MS Dhoni’s dynamics of  captaincy and sharpness of batting will come under scrutiny during this series. As a bat late in the order so, he does not have any big innings against South Africa. His 45 against South Africa in 2007 World Cup built a 85 runs partnership with debutant Rohit Sharma to keep a shrinking hope floating in the match. Dhoni in recent time has been  ridden by controversy since he quit Test cricket in the middle of the series. He was criticised for not coming at no. 4 in the World Cup semifinal, which India lost. Captain Dhoni tried to a shrinking ship float, but Australia demolished the middle order, so there is nobody who could provide assistance to Dhoni. Followed by surprising defeat in Bangladesh raised questions about his ODI captaincy as well. So, this series  will be crucial for his career.The scrutiny will start from October 2 and will continue till October 25.

Ajinkya Rahane

BCCI had made Ajinkya Rahane captain to lead a second-string Indian team to lead 3-0 ODI series win in Zimbabwe. But, Rahane led team failed to win the T20 series as Zimbabwe snatched the second ODI and forced India to draw the two-match series. Rahane was accused of not able to rotate the strike in the Bangladesh series by MS Dhoni. Rahane scored 79 of 60 against South Africa in Melbourne that helped India to defeat South Africa. But, his performance was not up to the mark. Recently in Sri Lanka he scored a match winning 126 in the second innings of P.Sara Oval Test in Colombo. But, in the shorter formats he has to prove his caliber to play in T20 and ODI. The first T20 will be his second shortest format match against South Africa. But, will he be chosen ahead of Ambati Rayudu? We have to wait till October 2 night.

Ambati Rayudu

 The right-handed batsman was unluckily ruled out of the Zimbabwe tour after the second match. During the Bangladesh tour, he played two matches failed in the second match and but became a victim of the umpire’s wrong decision in the third match where he scored 44, and the ball was coming well to his bat.  

 He was chosen for three matches Zimbabwe series. He  scored a match-winning 124 from difficult situations. He yet to make a T20 batting debut. But, Rayudu has versatile strokes in his hands and can hit the ball hard in the slog over which had been seen in the warm-up match against Australia before the 2015 World Cup. So, Dhoni might play safe keeping him with the team ahead of Rahane.

T20I record against South Africa since 2006

Batsman

Time

Match/inngs

Total

Highest Run/Average

Shikhar Dhawan

nil

nil

nil

nil

Rohit Sharma

2007-2014

6/5

181

53/ 45.25

Virat Kohli

2011-2014

4/3

102

72/ 51

Suresh Raina

2006-2014

7/6

214

101/ 42.80

MS Dhoni

2006-2014

8/7

99

45/ 33

Ajinkya Rahane

2014-2014

1/1

32

32/ 32

Ambati Rayudu

nil

nil

nil

nil

 

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