The 2014 ICC World Twenty20 will be crucial tournament for the South African men’s cricket team as they are yet to win a single World Cup, be it a 50 over format or T20 format. Even their colts won the 2014 Under-19 World Cup in UAE. In ICC tournaments, South Africa has the knack of destroying all the opponents in the group stages of a tournament and power themselves into the knock-out stages just to see themselves choke at their crucial match of the tournament. Their story in the 2014 ICC World Cup T20 too resembles the same as the Proteas powered themselves to the semis. The only question is that will they choke again or will they go on to create history by making to the finals and win the tournament. It is too easy to make a call on that as they will take on favourites Indian team in the second semi-finals of the 2014 ICC World Cup T20 in Mirpur on friday.
Unlike the Proteas, India are yet to lose a knockout game in ICC tournaments since MS Dhoni was handed the captaincy. They made all the teams they faced earlier in the tournament look like a school team as they crushed off each and every opponents on their way to the semis. India will also also look to knock South Africa out as a revenge for what the Proteas did to the Men in Blue a while ago. With a final spot at the 2014 World Cup T20 at stake, both the teams will look fired up ahead of the gruelling battle. The winner of this match will take on the winners of the first semi-finals between Sri Lanka and defending champions West Indies in the all-important finals.
T20’s: Both India and South Africa have faced each other seven times in the past with India stamping their authority with 5 victories. In the World T20’s, they have faced each other four times with India winning three of them.
Pitch Report: The wickets at the Sher-E-Bangla stadium has been aiding the spinners since start of 2014 World Cup T20. India are packed with some world class spinners in their side whereas the South Africans bank on their pacers to do the job for them and that could be the difference between the two sides.
Weather Report: The weather might not be a concern for the game but the dew is expected to cause some problems for the bowlers as the game moves on. So it is likely that the skipper winning the toss will opt to field first.
Straight from the Dugout: South Africa will have their regular skipper Faf du Plessis back for the semis after he was banned for their last group game against England. India’s Yuvraj Singh suffered an injury during the training session on Tuesday. The injury is said to be a minor one as we can expect him to take the field against South Africa.
When all the teams that had a decent run in the 2014 World Cup T20 preferred to play with at-least two spinners in their side, the South Africans decided to go in with a sole spinner supported by 4 pacers. Their bowling attack led by Deadly Dale Steyn has been a force to reckon with. Their pacers are doing their job pretty well and their spinner Imran Tahir has been a revelation in the condition that suits his style of play. Their bating too looks good apart from the form of de Kock. AB de Villiers has been their goto man with the bat and he never fails to take his team to a comfort zone. He plays a big hand in helping the Proteas reaching a decent total and their bowlers take care of the rest. They will be careful against India’s spin trio. The Indian spinners has been very difficult to score against in this tournament. Playing them with ease will make the Proteas favourites to win the match.
Everything seems to have go in India’s way in the tournament as they stormed their way into the semi-finals. India’s spin trio, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli look in sensational form and have performed upto the mark and carried their team into the last four. Their only area of concern is the form of their opener Shikhar Dhawan. India also gave chance to Rahane and he looked better than Dhawan. It will be interesting to see who comes out to open the batting along with Rohit Sharma. Their dashing southpaw Yuvraj too has bounced back to form in the nick of time and it will be a news to cherish for the Indians. Their ground fielding and catching looked to have improved and they will look to improve it further as the tournament is about to enter into its crucial stage. India will look to maintain their winning run and get the better of South Africa in the semi-finals.
With the kind of form India is in and the history against the Proteas, there is no doubt that India will make it to the finals.
Ravindra Jadeja has not been in his usual self in the tournament. In the semi-finals, he will look to unleash his usual self i.e. taking the game away from the opponents with the bat and the ball.
Quinton de Kock has had a rather silent stint so far in the 2014 World T20. He will look to be among the runs against his favourite opposition India.