India vs South Africa, 1st T20I: Decoding the player battles
India and South Africa gear up for a five-match T20I series, starting Thursday at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, Delhi. The hosts will be aiming for a clean sweep, having whitewashed New Zealand, West Indies, and Sri Lanka in succession post the 2021 T20 World Cup. However, South Africa are loaded with plenty of match-winners. Ahead of a riveting contest, we decode the player battles.
Rahul is coming off a scintillating run in the Indian Premier League. He compiled 616 runs. The stylish batter would be hoping to post a dominating show. Facing him would be SA pacer Kagiso Rabada, who too had a mind-boggling run in IPL 2022. Rabada has claimed 20 off his 49 T20I scalps in powerplay. He would be keen to pocket Rahul's wicket.
David Miller's finishing abilities are a class apart. However, India has the luxury of Harshal Patel, a bankable death-over specialist over the last few years. Miller has had the upper hand in IPL. As per ESPNcricinfo, he has bashed the right-arm pacer for 59 runs off 35 deliveries, striking at close to 170. Only time will tell who has the last laugh in T20Is.
Aiden Markram's one of the must-see players from the Proteas for the upcoming series. In 2021, the middle-order batter smashed 570 runs at 43.85. Then, he clobbered 381 runs in IPL 2022, averaging 47.62. He will be up against ace Indian leg-spinner, Yuzvendra Chahal, who pocketed 27 wickets in IPL 2022. Markram averages 34.42 versus spin in T20s, making the forthcoming contest worth witnessing.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was back to his vintage self in IPL 2022. He bowled at an economy of 5.92 in the powerplay. A skillful bowler, Bhuvneshwar would be up against SA opener, Quinton de Kock. As per ESPNcricinfo, de Kock averages 6.00 versus Bhuvneshwar and has been dismissed once in T20Is. The southpaw would look to better his numbers this time around.