India vs South Africa, 3rd T20, Cape Town

Rohit Sharma is making a bad habit of going missing in crunch games and the second T20I was a flawless example of the same.

With South Africa needing a win to stay in contention in the three-match series, captain JP Duminy cited the possibility of rain as a key factor in his decision. But that in turn has left the lower order untested, and South Africa exploited this weakness especially well in the third T20I, knocking over the last five wickets for nine runs. Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina quickly started their onslaught.

Talking about soaking the pressure, the 'keeper-batsman said, "That's great fun". Given the scenario, Virat Kohli might just be inspired to change the look and shape of his bowling attack. This means that Kohli has now not performed according to his supremely high levels in two successive matches in the "Rainbow Nation".

Wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock (wrist) and seamer Dale Steyn (foot) should also make their comebacks against Australia but Steyn is unlikely to play in the first game, at Kingsmead in Durban, while captain Faf du Plessis (finger) is still to prove his fitness. The other four bowlers were Stuart Broad, Xavier Doherty, Barry McCarthy (Ireland) and Andrew Tye. "Tough one for the bowlers". In his innings of 79 off 48 deliveries, Pandey his six fours and three huge sixes to provide the impetus that the Indian team needed after losing the top-four.

Earlier, Manish Pandey and MS Dhoni scored quickfire half-centuries to help visitors post a fighting total after a bad start. "Today they bowled 5-6 overs of short bowling to us early on and it really backfired on them". And when they got the chance to bat first at Wanderers, they showed great determination to give themselves a consolation win!

All-format pace bowler Bhuvneshwar needs a wicket to go past Zaheer Khan on the list of bowlers with most wickets in T20I bilateral series between India and South Africa.

David Miller was removed by Pandya in the next over as the Indians looked to make a comeback. That match was called off after 15.3 overs of the first innings (with SA Women batting magnificently) due to incessant rain.

With ODI series getting over, team India now looking for T20 series. Both Pandey and Dhoni brought up their second fifties respectively as they helped India to get a good score of 188-4 in 20 overs. He was replaced by Shardul Thakur. Thereafter, Raina and Pandey added quick 45 runs off 31 balls for the fourth wicket to take India forward.

With an unchanged line-up, South Africa managed to square the series in the previous game and are unlikely to disturb that combination.

  • Rosalie Stanley