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The T20I series had a dull start as the rain played killjoy at Dharamshala. However, the teams have moved to Mohali for the second fixture. Both the teams would like to get off to a good start in the series. South Africa is placed at number three in the ICC T20I rankings whereas India is at fourth rank. Both teams will have a common goal for the series – to prepare for the ICC T20I World Cup next year. South Africa will have their task cut out as they have inexperienced group of players.
On the other hand, the shortest format of the game hasn’t been India’s forte and they will also like to fill in the missing pieces. The Men in Blue had convincingly beaten West Indies 3-0 but the Proteas are going to bring a different challenge to the table.
India will like to start on a high.
Meanwhile, some of the players will be in focus like Shikhar Dhawan. The southpaw doesn’t have a great T20I record and he had a mundane come back to the game after missing the World Cup due to thumb fracture.
South Africa has a young contingent onboard and it would be interesting to note how they will handle the pressure. The Proteas will have a new leader in Quinton de Kock and it would be interesting to note how the wicket-keeper batsman would muster his troops.With no Faf du Plessis, JP Duminy, Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn in the side, the onus would be on experienced players like David Miller and Kagiso Rabada.
Furthermore, the absence of big players from the South African team will be an opportunity for young players to grab their chance.
On the other hand, Hardik Pandya will return to the side. Moreover, it would be an opportunity for players like Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Washington Sundar, Chahar’s brothers, and Navdeep Saini to make the most of their chances. It would be interesting to note how the young brigade would go about their business.
Match Prediction: India will have the home advantage in their court and they would like to hit the blocks. However, the Proteas also have a few players who have IPL experience under their belt. India will begin as favorites but South Africa can not be ruled out especially in a format like T20I.