Bengaluru gears up for the grand finale as India eye series
With two wins from the first two games, South Africa had the golden opportunity of walking away with the series as they arrived for the third T20I at Vishakapatnam. But then when you are in India, you cannot afford to commit the cardinal error of dropping your momentum and with that said, India is now level pegging with the visitors.
It will be a contest of the extremes as both the sides stand on the cusp of a remarkable series win that has stayed witness to flights and wobbles, cricketing raves and stutters, and most importantly waking of the giants from sleep who were once written off as dead.
India will be coming to this contest, brimming with panache as they turned the series around on its head, thanks to some excellent bowling and a sequence of electric outbursts on the pitch that would stay witness to some mind-blowing catches. The batters were absolutely brilliant in the opening contest of the series but ever since then, individual displays have taken a front seat for the hosts.
South Africa, on the contrary, started with an exultant batting unit that has somehow crumbled in the last two games and with a couple of their main players on the bench due to injuries, they will need someone to play the vanguard right from the front, rallying back the forces against an in-form India.
Despite an early slide in the previous game, the Indian batters managed to turn the tide around as RCB’s Finisher Supreme hammered an impeccable 55, propelling the hosts to a fine 169. The bowlers were bang on their money, spearheaded by Avesh Khan who would claim 4 crucial wickets to leave South Africa short of the total by 82 runs which would also be India’s biggest T20I winning margin.
The caravan will be shifting to Bengaluru for the final T20I and Chinnaswamy will be playing host to an absolute cracker. Currently, the city is witnessing heavy rains that may spark a frown or two on the visages of the organizers. However, going by the inclement conditions, the bowlers could be savouring an added advantage.
India vs South Africa (5th T20I)
Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru
19th June 2022
Total matches: 19
South Africa: 8
India: Rishabh Pant (Captain, WK), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Hardik Pandya(vice-captain), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik.
South Africa: Temba Bavuma (C), Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Wayne Parnell, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Tristan Stubbs, Rassie van der Dussen and Marco Jansen.