India take on South Africa on Wednesday in the first of three T20Is as the preparations for next month’s T20 World Cup intensify. The hosts come into this match full of confidence after a fantastic 2-1 series win against the current T20 World Cup holders Australia. Their opponents, the Proteas, were last in action in this format when they beat Ireland 2-0 in August of this year.
Lwanele Poswayo has prepared the best bets for the first T20I of the series.
India are hitting form at just the right time. Their key batsmen are also playing well after brilliant batting performances against Australia. Their bowling on the other hand is a bit of a concern, especially in the death over which will be a huge test against South Africa’s firepower in the middle order.
South Africa proved earlier in the year that they are more than capable of going toe-to-toe with India in the sub-continent and their recent form in T20I cricket cannot be understated. They are the value bet at 2.65 but I just see the team that has played more T20Is recently winning this match.
Yadav is India’s form batsman if not world cricket’s. He’s climbed to number three in the T20I rankings and was the highest run scorer for India in the series against Australia, batting with aggression throughout the series. Suryakumar Yadav has scored 34 runs or more in four of his last seven T20Is and I expect him to get more than that in this game.
Along with Aiden Markram, Miller has been the Proteas’ best batsman in this format in the last 12 months. He has scored 850 runs in T20 cricket this year at an average of 42.5 while striking at 140.5. I like both him and Markram for this match with the latter averaging at an immense 58 with a strike rate of 141 in Asian conditions.
There’s more value in backing David Miller at 6.50 as I feel this could be a low-scoring game with the middle to lower order playing a huge role.
First Six Overs
India have hit 62 sixes in the powerplay this year which shows their change in approach. The Proteas take a different approach with Temba Bavuma or Reeza Hendricks usually needing a couple of overs to get their eye in. I expect India to get off to a faster start than the visitors.
Highest Individual Score
The average score across the 16 T20 matches at Greenfield Stadium from 2017-2019 stands at 141 runs, with the 10 teams not managing to surpass the 200-run mark even once in this two-year period. I expect this to be a low-scoring encounter with also some of the Proteas batsmen not having played in this format recently.