India, SA look to gain confidence before T20 WC
India are coming off a fine series win over Australia and will be eager to do an encore when they meet against South Africa in the first T20I of the three-match match series at the Greenfield International Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram today.
After clinching the T20 series against Australia 2-1, India now shifts focus to South Africa, the last team they will face before flying out for the T20 World Cup in Australia.
While the batting line-up looks rather settled, a lot still remains unanswered as far as the bowling is concerned. Indian bowlers have been leaking runs in the death overs, which has been the biggest worry for skipper Rohit Sharma.
The visitors, who held India to a 2-2 draw in the last T20 series in June this year, are also looking to experiment but have an eye on the upcoming T20 World Cup.
But unlike the previous series against the Proteas, this time the home side will field a full-strength team.
India's batting seems in secure arms with Virat Kohli's return to kind and Rohit Sharma main from the entrance.
"Obviously, those — Rohit and Virat — are big names with big pedigree behind them, and obviously as you saw in their last while their performances have boosted the confidence of the team.
"We count on to return main from the entrance, and good for us to return up in opposition to the perfect. You count on these guys to carry a lot of confidence and X-issue into the group," said South Africa captain Temba Bavuma.
That said, Bavuma will have an 'unfinished business' as their last series — a five-match T20I rubber — ended in a 2-2 result after rain washed out the decider in Bengaluru.
Personally, Bavuma has a lot to prove after being snubbed in their SA20 auction, the country's inaugural T20 League. Dismissing it as 'side-show', the skipper said his role is to lead the country and keep everyone in a good space before the World Cup.