The weather Gods weren’t too kind at Dharamsala as rain played spoilsport in India’s first T20I against South Africa. The journey takes the teams onto Mohali and thankfully the forecast for the second T20I is much clearer.
India have a good record at this venue winning both T20Is they have played and will be keen to set the ball rolling come Wednesday.
Ground Details and Team Combination
The surface at Mohali has been a haven for batsmen with the average score across all T20Is here being 180. In the IPL as well, scores well in excess of 160 have been breached quite often over the years.
That said, the surface here is said to be the liveliest in the country and the new ball will move around a bit under lights. However, once the ball loses its shine, run-scoring is expected to become much easier.
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma have a terrific white-ball record here while KL Rahul too could be an option considering he knows the ins and outs of this ground having played for Kings XI Punjab for the last two years.
Mohali has one of the bigger boundaries in India and clearing the field especially against the slower bowlers hasn’t always been easy. The pacers have picked up a total of 25 wickets in four T20Is in Mohali, at an alarming economy of 9.25 and strike-rate of 25.0. The spinners, on the other hand, have returned 15 wickets but at a far better economy rate of 7.85 while striking every 21.6 balls.
Krunal Pandya and Rahul Chahar could be a good fit for your XI backed by two pacers and a fast-bowling all-rounder.
Remember the picture Virat Kohli posted on his Twitter account alongside MS Dhoni that sent the whole of social media into a frenzy. The image was from a match played at this very ground back in the 2016 World T20. Kohli had scored a stupendous 52-ball 81 in the game to help India get past Australia in a thrilling encounter.
Kohli likes the ball coming onto his bat nice and hard and that is one thing he is definitely going to get at the PCA stadium. This year alone he averages a strong 50.50 in 5 innings with a strike rate of 132.89 which includes two 50s. He averages a healthy 38.42 at this venue across all T20s and has a fabulous ODI record here too.
Rohit Sharma: Rohit hasn’t played a lot of T20 cricket at Mohali but his ODI numbers here clearly make him a key member. He has a double-century and two half-centuries in just five ODIs at this venue averaging a colossal 102.50.
Furthermore, he averages 37.88 against South Africa in 11 T20Is, striking at 136.40, which includes a century and two fifties. Like Kohli, Rohit too likes the ball coming onto the bat.
Reeza Hendricks: Hendricks was disappointed to miss out on a World Cup spot, something which he has admitted on record. He has quietly been amongst the runs for both South Africa and the A sides and might be a useful resource considering he opens the batting.
He had a good 50-over series against India A late last month returning two impressive half-centuries and a century in five List-A games. A T20I average of 27.95 with a strike-rate of 124.22 is not too shabby and he certainly has the power game in his repertoire to cause damage.
Krunal Pandya: Krunal has taken to international cricket like fish to water. He has not been around for too long but has done enough with both bat and ball to warrant a place for some time to come in the shortest format of the game.
14 wickets in 14 T20Is, two Man of the Match awards, 1 Man of the series trophy - Krunal has all the essentials to be the all-rounder your team needs.
The temperature is predicted to hover around the 28-degree mark and the evening breeze should provide the perfect climate for a good game of cricket. There is no imminent threat of rain.
Predicted FanFight team:
Rohit Sharma, Reeza Hendricks, Virat Kohli (c), Rishabh Pant (wk), Manish Pandey, Krunal Pandya, George Linde, Kagiso Rabada, Rahul Chahar, Anrich Nortje, Deepak Chahar