Rajkot T20I: Rain could play spoilsport in a must-win game for Team India against Proteas
Rajkot: After a 48-run win against South Africa in the third T20I match of the five-match series at home, Men in Blue will be looking forward to levelling the series when they take on the Proteas in the fourth T20I at Rajkot on Friday.
After outplaying India in the first two games, the South Africans were at the receiving end in the third match and eventually faced defeat as India made a stellar comeback in the series after being down 2-0 and clinched the 3rd T20I game by 48 runs.
Indian batters performed well in the third match of the series, with Ruturaj Gaikwad (57) and Ishan Kishan (54) both smashing blistering half-centuries and delivering important contributions to India’s momentum. Later, Hardik Pandya hit 31 runs to take India to 179/5 in 20 overs.
Ishan Kishan will be looking forward to carrying on with his form in the fourth match and being on the winning side this time. All eyes will be on Ruturaj Gaikwad as he just got in his true form against Proteas and battled SA’s dangerous pace attack consisting of Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, and a returning Wayne Parnell.
Hardik Pandya will also be looking forward to continuing his red-hot form that has been going on since the start of the recently-concluded IPL 2022 and contributing well with both bat and ball.
India depends on their spinners in the middle overs and the greatest positive out of the last game was the performance of Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel. Both spinners were impressive with their bowling efforts to help India win by 48 runs. The top run-scorer for Proteas was Heinrich Klaassen.
In the pace department, the experienced Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been extraordinarily consistent. Avesh Khan has not conceded a lot of runs but he is yet to take a wicket in the series while Harshal Patel, who depends on his variations to be useful, found his beat in Vizag and ended up with a four-wicket haul.
The visitors will be expecting their star batter Quinton de Kock recovers fully from a wrist injury and rejoins the team for the fourth T20I.
The batters for Proteas were helpless in smashing big scores following a mixed performance with the ball in hand. The spin duo of Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi were completely hammered by the Indian batters, going at over 10 an over.
SA’s lead pacer Kagiso Rabada has been their most amazing bowler and the team India have given him due respect by not taking any chances to play dangerous shots against him.
Despite a defeat in the last T20I, Temba Bavuma’s side will take chances and will try to once again get back in winning form. While India will look forward to continuing their winning run against Proteas to level the series in Rajkot. It will be difficult for players to perform in Rajkot as it rained there and still there are chances of rain tomorrow also.
India: Rishabh Pant (c & wk), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh and Umran Malik.
South Africa: Temba Bavuma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Wayne Parnell, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Tristan Stubbs, Rassie van der Dussen and Marco Jansen.