INDIA V SOUTH AFRICA PREVIEW
India beat South Africa emphatically in the recently concluded world cup in England. That was perhaps a wakeup call for not only the players but the support and management who flew into the marquee tournament without any inkling as to how dangerous some of the other sides were; especially India. Now that the T20 series is upon us it must be remembered that this side is even weaker and a lot more inexperienced than the one that we beat in Southampton in June. This side is also bereft of some of the star power that South Africa has boasted of for so long.
The Proteas will be without A B De Villiers, Imran Tahir, JP Duminy and Hashim Amla. These are some of the guys who have put the South African team on the world map of cricket and now their side is replete with guys who no one knows about. There is Quinton de Kock, who is the captain of the T20 side and the second most popular guy in the team is David Miller. The latter is famous for his IPL exploits which have been far and between since the last 4 years.
So, can India take this side lightly? Is it possible to beat a world class team such as India with anonymous players?
The other side of anonymity is that no one sees you coming. They have some players who cannot only disrupt the Indian team’s confidence, but shatter it beyond repair if they start well in the first match. Let’s look at a few of them who can impede India’s chances.
Reeza Hendricks is one guy who could prove instrumental for the Proteas against the Indian bowling attack at home. Reeza was the 4th highest scorer in South Africa’s domestic T20 circuit with 317 runs at an average of 45.28 in 10 games. And being only 25 years of age gives him some leeway in terms of assessing risks against the men in blue.
Temba Buvama, a middle order batsman with lots of accolades under his belt can surely stun any opposition with his batting prowess. Although he has struggled in the shorter formats of the game but his average in the 4-day game and his young age of 24 will leave a lot to be tested once he walks down to bat against the Indian team at home.
Another Protea, who could bring a lot of excitement to the table is Anrich Nortje. A right arm fast bowler, who in the absence of Dale Steyn can wreak havoc within the Indian batting line up.
Lastly but not the least, Is Kagiso Rabada. His class and his aggression speak volumes by the way he has risen in the last few years. A speed between 140-150 kph makes him the bowling captain of his side automatically. His run-ins with Virat Kohli and his natural ability to trouble any batsman will peeve some of the stalwarts in the Indian team.
All in all, team India may have the upper hand when it comes to experience and world class players, but taking the South Africans for granted may just undo a stellar start to their WT20 ambitions.