Preview of World T20: India v South Africa
The fifth match of the ICC World T20 will be played between India and South Africa at St. Lucia. India won their first game of the tournament when they easily overcame a spirited effort from Afghanistan, whereas South Africa have only played the two warm-up games before this game. >
India got most of the things right in the Afghanistan game. The fast bowling was good and accurate, the main spinners in Harbhajan Singh and Ravindra Jadeja did their bit, in stalling the run-rate, while the batsmen apart from Gautam Gambhir got some valuable time at the crease.>
However, it is Gambhir’s immediate form that will be a worry for the side. Gambhir is definitely a class player in the team, and will regain the runs sooner than later, but the fact is that the Indians cannot afford too may failures at the top of the order in a competition which has a format like this.
Apart from that, it will be interesting to see how Yusuf Pathan bats against the South African quicks on the pitch at St. Lucia which should support the pace bowling. How he, and for that matter, Suresh Raina handle the short bowling is something that could decide the fate of the Indians in the rest of the games.
For South Africans, there are not too many issues, but the interesting bit is that their squad does not have too many reserve batsmen in it. This means that Herschelle Gibbs could be in the playing in the starting eleven and so will be Albie Morkel, with no other batsmen in line-up.
The bowling, though, is in safe hands. Dale Steyn has been the form-bowler, and if Charl Langeveldt also gets a look-in, I have no doubt in my mind that it could form one of the best bowling attacks of the tournament. however, the question that the team management would be asking themselves is to do with the spinners; who will their lone spin bowler be – Johan Botha or Roelof van der Merwe?
India go into the game as marginal favourites according to the bookies, 10/11 (Bet Fred) as compared to the offer of 1/1 (Paddy Power) for a South African win. To me, there is not much to choose from and the team winning the toss, and fielding first could also go onto win it!
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