India is on a high, winning the first ODI series on South African soil. It will be looking to win the three-game T20I series, as well. The first T201 is slated for 18 February 2018, at Johannesburg. However, the South Africans may want to redeem themselves by winning the series.
Preview of 1st T20I between India and South Africa
|Match||South Africa vs India, 1st T20I|
|Time||6:00 PM, 12:30 PM GMT / 02:30 PM LOCAL|
|Venue||New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg|
|Match number||T20I no. 652|
|Match days||18 February 2018 (20-over match)|
Faf du Plessis is injured and out of the T20I matches. Instead, JP Duminy has been appointed the skipper. The South Africans have named uncapped Christiaan Jonker in the squad. He is an explosive batter in the domestic T20 games, and may be able to tackle the tight Indian bowling. Reeza Hendricks is the other run-getter, who is part of the Proteas team. Heinrich Klaasen, the hero of the fourth ODI, is also included in the T20 squad. Uncapped fast bowler Junior Dala too has been named part of the T20 team.
Considering the amount of international games AB de Villiers has missed, it is not surprising that he has not been rested for the upcoming series with Australia. So, India will be looking to get de Villier out quickly and ensure they stem the flow of runs.
For India, the squad remains relatively unchanged and Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma will continue to be the eyes. Suresh Raina has been recalled into the squad and this is his time to prove himself with the bat and consolidate his position in the team.
Prediction for 1st T20I between South Africa and India
India has batting and bowling depth, with likes of Jaydev Unadkat, who has proved his batting abilities in T20I. Also, the Men in Blue are high on motivation, thanks to the recent historic ODI series win. They will be looking to also win the T20I series and finish the South African tour on a high note, after a poor test series performance.
South Africa is resting its marquee players for the Australian series. So, the team will not have many options with the bat and bowl. Imran Tahir has also been rested to give Tabraiz Shamsi and Aaron Phangiso opportunities to play at this level. Furthermore, the new players called for the series lack in experience to play a high-stress game. Nonetheless, they will be looking to show the world what they are capable of doing.
Odds favour the Indian side, and the bowling will have to be superior. Going by the scoring history at New Wanderers Stadium, the side that bats first tends to win. The average first inning score at the stadium is 174 while the average second inning score is 158. So, a lot will depend on who wins the toss and elects to bat first.