The shackles have been broken. India have finally managed to register a win against the Proteas this year in the 8th attempt. The opening duo of Ishan and Ruturaj powered India to a good start but SA came back strong in the middle overs by dismissing Iyer and Pant. They could have reduced India to a low score if they had taken their chances in the field.
The Indian team remained unchanged in the third t20i and continued to back Yuzvendra Chahal despite the fact he has not been impressive in the past two T20Is. The result bore fruit and he ended up running through SA's middle order of Pretorious, RVD and Klaasen. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar has been too impressive especially in the Powerplay. He has taken 7 wkts so far this year and was almost unplayable with the new ball in the last game.
The visitors have been dealt with a huge blow. Aiden Markram has been ruled out of the series. In the past 12 months, Aiden 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. According to reports, QDK was seen practising in the nets and in all possibility could play in the 4th t20i. Opening has been a concern for the proteas not just in this series but for the past 12 months. Since 2021, Bavuma has averaged 16 with a SR of 119 while opening whereas Reeza has averaged 27 at a SR of 125. This was SA's only the 2nd loss in last 15 t20is. Winning today's game will mark their 4th consecutive t20i series win.
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)/Reeza Hendricks, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Dwaine Pretorius, Heinrich Klaasen, Wayne Parnell, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj, Anrich Nortje, Tabraiz Shamsi.
Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot
Total matches - 3
Matches won batting first - 1
Matches won bowling first - 2
Average 1st Inns scores - 183
Average 2nd Inns scores - 170
Highest total recorded - 202/4 (19.4 Ov) by IND vs AUS
Lowest total recorded - 196/2 (20 Ov) by NZ vs IND
Head to Head
Overall: Ind leads by 10 - 8
Batting 1st:Ind leads by 7-2
Batting 2nd: SA leads by 6-3
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: 77/3 at 197 sr
Miller v Harshal: 76/1 at 165 sr
Miller v Bhuvi: 77/1 at 175 sr
Ishan v Rabada: 70/1 at 166 sr
Ishan v Nortje: 77/1 at 210 sr
Iyer v Shamsi: 63/1 at 190 sr
Hardik v Rabada: 68/2 at 147 sr
Ruturaj v Nortje: 67/2 at 186 sr
DK v Rabada: 21/4 at 70 sr
(last 5 innings )
Key Players & Fantasy picks:
Ishan Kishan: He has the most runs for an Indian opener in first ten t20i innings (375) and scored over 70 runs against Nortje in the format with over 200 SR. So far he has shown a good intent in both the games compared to the underwhelming IPL season he had. He has the most runs in PP for India in 2022 (166)
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. In the last game, he again chipped in with a 30 to take India towards a fighting total.
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.
Prediction: Winners - SA