M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru
September 22, Sunday; 19:00 IST
Live on Star Sports, streaming on Hotstar
The main picture
On paper, India are the better team, and they were the better team over 39 overs in Mohali, too. T20 matches are often won by individual brilliance, but India had more than a handful of players contribute in unison to first choke South Africa with the ball before Virat Kohli’s mastery of the run-chase took over. It was a tough start to the tour for the Proteas and if Quinton de Kock on Sunday and Faf du Plessis (who’ll lead the team in the upcoming Test series) keep losing tosses, it could prove to be a uphill battle in the weeks ahead for the Proteas.
South Africa, you hope, will have learnt their lessons from the loss in Mohali, foremost among them being the lengths their bowlers bowled. With the exception of Andile Phehlukwayo, who nipped the ball both ways and took pace off to keep the batsmen in check, South African fast bowlers paid the price for bowling predominantly short of good length or too full, and fast: a combination that rarely brings rewards in the form of wickets in Indian conditions. That even a seasoned campaigner as Kagiso Rabada failed to adapt himself to the conditions came as a surprise.
Conditions at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru won’t be much different from Mohali, and the onus is on South Africa to raise their collective game. The boundaries are relatively smaller compared to the PCA IS Bindra Stadium and the bowlers must be precise with their execution to strangle the batsmen and give themselves a chance of picking wickets. The visiting South Africa don’t have many options in their reserves apart from Beuran Hendricks, who could come in for out-and-out fast bowler Anrich Nortje to lend variety to the attack and also as a more natural exponent of changes in pace.
India are likely to retain their winning combination unless a player has picked up an injury between matches. You don’t expect India to have a drop in intensity or become complacent after a comfortable win. They will, however, look for finer improvements, particularly with bowling in the powerplay against a free-scoring batsman as de Kock.
M Chinnaswamy Stadium pitch report and weather forecast
India don’t have a good memory of the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, where, in February this year, their bowling attack was taken apart by a belligerent Glenn Maxwell, whose unbeaten 113 led Australia to a successful run-chase of 191. It was another evidence of this being a venue where, given a choice, you’d rather chase than defend a score. Of the six T20Is to be played here, four have been won by the team batting second. While pace and bounce of the Chinnaswamy pitch have become variable over the years, the ball skids onto the bat once the dew sets in. And the two teams will factor in the dew ahead of the match, while the captain winning the toss will opt to field first precisely for that reason.
India vs South Africa 3rd T20 predicted playing 11
Predicted Indian playing XI: 1 Virat Kohli (c), 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Shikhar Dhawan, 4 Shreyas Iyer, 5 Rishabh Pant (wk), 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Krunal Pandya, 8 Ravindra Jadeja, 9 Washington Sundar, 10 Deepak Chahar, 11 Navdeep Saini
Predicted South Africa playing XI: 1 Quinton de Kock (c & wk), 2 Reeza Hendricks, 3 Rassie van der Dussen, 4 David Miller, 5 Temba Bavuma, 6 Andile Phehlukwayo, 7 Dwaine Pretorius, 8 Kagiso Rabada, 9 Tabraiz Shamsi, 10 Bjorn Fortuin, 11 Beuran Hendricks
The toss will be crucial again because of the dew that’s likely to set in at the start of the second innings. That said, South Africa must up their collective game to give themselves a chance of squaring the series.