Just three days after their last clash against Australia, India are back in action, in Thiruvananthapuram, a new venue to kick-off the South Africa series. The Proteas last visited India only in June and drew the series 2-2. In fact, at one point in the series, the visitors had a lead of 2-0 but then squandered their chances.
But this time around, they sure would have learnt their lessons. India, on the other hand, completed yet another comeback win. Australia took a 1-0 lead in the series but India’s display in both the T20Is in the aftermath left the visitors stunned. If you did watch that series, you would know two things: Suryakumar Yadav is a beast and India’s bowling woes.
While India will be aiming to put an end to their bowling woes, they would want the right-hander to continue his dazzling form.
India’s caravan now has moved to Thiruvananthapuram, a venue where they last played in 2019. It almost seems like a repeat of the clash in Vidarbha, isn’t it? The last clash in the city was in 2019, a match that the Indian fans wouldn’t want to remember. It was the second T20I of the three-match series against West Indies.
At the venue, India have won one and lost one, with this encounter being the third one. It is pretty unclear to how the surface would behave during the first T20I, considering how this ground has rarely been used. Across 32 innings, the average first innings score has been 126, with the average winning score being 138.
Pacers (55.6%) have a slight advantage over the spinners (44.4%) here at the venue. So, stacking your team with a good bowling unit might be the way to go.
Suggested TeamWhile you could go for the above team, you also have the option of choosing your team from Cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. You can use this tool to build your team with the help of algorithms. Then, based on your preferences, the platform will guide you through creating the ideal fantasy XI.
For small leagues: Suryakumar Yadav (c), Rilee Rossouw (vc)
Stats that Matter
- Suryakumar Yadav has been in terrific form this year, leading the run-scoring chart in T20Is. In 20 innings this year, the right-handed Mumbaikar has scored 682 runs, averaging 37.82 with a staggering strike-rate of 182.8. You wonder if he is consistent? Four half-centuries and a century this year, the right-hander has been the best batter for India in the shortest format.
- Since his return in T20Is, Rilee Rossouw has been a revelation for the Proteas, with 131 runs in three innings. In fact, the left-hander has been in sublime touch this year, scoring 1099 runs in 35 innings, averaging 39.25 with a strike-rate of 175.3. The left-hander could well be one of the missing links for the Proteas.
- Across 32 innings, the average first innings score here in the city has been 126, with the average winning score being 138.
Grand League punts
- Axar Patel’s form is such that the entire world is just talking about him. Over the last three T20Is, the left-arm spinner picked up eight wickets, while maintaining an economy rate of 6.30. In fact, in T20Is, Axar averages 22.68, with a solid economy of 7.16. So, picking the all-rounder might just be the difference.
- While Dwaine Pretorius didn’t play South Africa’s last T20I in England, the all-rounder is certainly one of the top names for the series against India. Last time around, Pretorius also batted as high as No.3, something that he isn’t going to do this time. But his average of 24.7 coupled with his ability to bat well surely makes him a great pick in the grand league.
Here are the top-10 Criclytics Projections
India XI: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Dinesh Karthik, Harshal Patel, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Arshdeep Singh, Yuzvendra Chahal
South Africa XI: Quinton de Kock (wk), Temba Bavuma (c), Rilee Rossouw, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Tristan Stubbs, Dwaine Pretorius/Wayne Parnell, Keshav Maharaj, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi