With the maiden T20I series win against South Africa, team India is now looking to achieve their first-ever clean sweep against Proteas in the third and final T20I at the Holkar Cricket Stadium on Tuesday. India already sealed the series with a 2-0 win and if India can showcase a 3-0 win over South Africa, the Men in Blue can board the fight for the T20 World Cup with full confidence.
The blazing form of the top-four Indian batting line-up is now an advantage for team India in the upcoming T20 World Cup. Particularly, the extraordinary Suryakumar Yadav is the most heartening feature of the tournament.
The top four batters helped India cross the 200-run milestone in the 2nd T20I. Yadav’s destructive 22-ball 62 on Sunday at Guwahati was the most remarkable one on the list. Yadav’s exceptional batting skills seem to be more and more exposed with each game. Yadav’s powerful knock helped him to reach 1000 international runs in the 32 T20Is that he has played so far. Yadav is the third fastest Indian to reach the 1K mark after Virat Kohli and KL Rahul.
Virat Kohli is also in full form since the Asia Cup as he scored a century against Afghanistan in the last game and proved his comeback. After that Kohli is in active form and showed consistency in bating. In the last match, Kohli scored 49 runs in 28 balls. Vice-captain KL Rahul was not in form since his injury break. But from the South Africa T20I series onwards, Rahul is managed to score a half-century in each game.
Even though the batting line-up is all set, what would leave Rohit Sharma uneasy is the struggle of two of his main medium pacers. The pacers are confronted with a flat track, especially in the last five overs. After Jasprit Bumrah was ruled out of the T20 World Cup due to a back injury it is Bhuvneshwar Kumar who is India’s leading seamer. The absence of Bumrah is a major concern for team India as a replacement is not even possible for him.
Harshal Patel and Arshdeep Singh’s slog overs in the 2nd T20I are also a concern in the upcoming game. Within the 8 overs, they have conceded 170 runs. But in both the games, Arshdeep provided a good start. In the 1st T20I, Arshdeep got 3 wickets in the first over itself. He followed it up with two wickets in the second match.
But the bowling in the death overs is the problem. In the first T20I, he conceded 17 runs in his final over. In the second match, he has given away 57 runs in his last three overs.
Returning from an injury break, Harshal Patel managed to take only one wicket in the 3-match T20I series against Australia and has conceded an overall 99 runs in 8 overs. He has seen slightly better against South Africa.
The only hope here is the return of the pace bowling all-rounder Deepak Chahar. But Chahar will only make a breakthrough in the powerplay overs.
In the last five or six games, India has not bowled well in the death overs. To bowl and bat in the death overs is equally important and tough. If the bowlers can show a better performance, the team can peacefully go for the World Cup.
The third and final T20I will be played at Indore stadium. The pitch there is a flat one with short boundaries and it will be tough for bowlers. The Proteas will try to win at least one game in the series to show some ride. David Miller’s century in the last game will be a relief for the side. But they also need Quinton de Kock back to his best.
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