David Miller is in the form of his life. There is nothing that he can't do with the bat on a cricket field these days. Not so long ago he was dropped from the ODI squad against SL and it looked like his white ball career for the proteas is nearing an end. But he made a technical adjustment to his game especially against spin and has emerged as one of the most dangerous white ball players in the world. Along with RVD, he powered SA to a 7 wkt victory and chased down the highest total for SA in t20is. Meanwhile, he also went past AB de Villiers to win the most MoM awards for SA in t20is ( 8). SA continued their dominance over India this year by winning 6th consecutive game across formats. They are one of the strongest t20i units since the last 12 months and narrowely missed out on the semis spot in the t20 world cup. SA will miss the services of Aiden Markram who is out with Covid. In the past one year, Markram has scored 570 runs for SA at a SR of 148. He had a very good outing in t20 wc and was featured in ICC's team of the tournament. Markram is also a useful part time off spinner and does the job well in Powerplay
India on the other hand don't have larger issues and they almost did everything right in the 1st game. With 2 brilliant hitters of pace they could have done little on that ground with short boundaries. They would take a lot of positives from the intent shown by the batters. To address death over issues they could bring in Arshdeep Singh later in the series who had the best eco at the death in this year's IPL.
Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (c, wk), Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, Axar Patel, Bhuvnenshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Yuzvendra Chahal
Temba Bavuma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Dwaine Pretorius, Tristan Stubbs, Wayne Parnell, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj, Anrich Nortje, Tabraiz Shamsi.
Barabati Stadium, Cuttack
Total matches - 2
Matches won batting first - 1
Matches won bowling first - 1
Average 1st Inns scores - 136
Average 2nd Inns scores - 91
Highest total recorded - 180/3 (20 Ov) by IND vs SL
Lowest total recorded - 87/10 (16 Ov) by SL vs IND
Head to Head
Overall: Ind leads by 9 - 7
Batting 1st:Ind leads by 6-2
Batting 2nd: SA leads by 5-3
Last 5 matches: SA leads by 3-2
QDK v Chahal: 44/6 at 112 sr
QDK v Bhuvi: 57/1 at 101 sr
Miller v Chahal: 55/3 at 161 sr
Miller v Harshal: 72/0 at 175 sr
Miller v Bhuvi: 75/1 at 178 sr
Ishan v Rabada: 68/1 at 174 sr
Ishan v Nortje: 59/0 at 210 sr
Hardik v Rabada: 60/2 at 150 sr
Ruturaj v Nortje: 51/2 at 170 sr
DK v Rabada: 14/3 at 73 sr
(last 5 innings )
Key Players & Fantasy picks:
Yuzvendra Chahal: Purple cap winner with 27 wkts at an eco of 7.9 and holds the record of most wkts by a spinner in a season. Chahal scalped 20 wkts in the middle overs . RR used him wisely by bowling his 2 overs after the 14th over. He bowled brilliantly in the end overs of few games and has scalped 7 wkts. A pattern which India may also like to experiment with though he could have bowled earlier in Delhi.
Hardik Pandya : India's best all rounder had an outing to forget last year in IPL. Due to Injuries, Hardik had not been bowling and subsequently lost his place in the national side for these 2 reasons. This IPL was a great opportunity for him to win the trust back of the selectors and make a strong statement ahead of the t20 wc. He led from the front both with the bat and the ball in this season. He is the 4th highest run scorer in this season with 487 runs and has most 30+ scores ( 8). Did a brilliant job with the ball in the final and in few league games in Powerplay phase. In 1st t20i, he scored 31(12)* coming into bat in the 17th over. This is the 3rd time he has scored over 30 at more than 250 SR in t20is.
David Miller: Miller was doing his job for the proteas in white ball cricket but wasn't able to translate his potential in the IPL since few seasons. It can be also attributed to the lack of fixed place in the 11 and a defined role. Here at GT, he had both and it reflected in his performance. He scored 481 runs at a SR of 142 and took GT over the finishing lines in so many games along with Tewatia and Rashid from crunch situations. He continued from where he left in the IPL and remained not out for the 3rd consecutive time in a run chase.
Dwaine Pretorious was SA's best death bowler in WT20s and can also use the long handle well as he displayed in the IPL and in the 1st t20 after getting a promotion in the batting line up.
Prediction: Winners - SA