India, SA aim to take unassailable lead in Mohali Twenty 20 clash - GulfToday

India, SA aim to take unassailable lead in Mohali Twenty 20 clash

India, SA aim to take unassailable  lead in Mohali Twenty 20 clash

Indian players attend a training session ahead of their T20 match against South Africa on Tuesday. Reuters

Chandigarh: With the first match being washed out, both India and South Africa will hope that the rain gods stay away from Mohali when the two teams meet each at the IS Bindra Stadium for the second T20I on Wednesday.

The first match in Dharamsala had to be called off without a ball being bowled due to incessant rains on Sunday evening, leaving fans all across the world disappointed.

As it is a three-match series, both teams would aim to put in their best effort in Mohali as they know that the winner would not lose the rubber. With the stakes so high, there is, therefore, not much scope for mistakes by either of the teams.

The Men in Blue would be brimming with confidence following their superb show against the West Indies in their recent tour. India were absolutely ruthless against the West Indies, with only rain denying them a clean sweep of the Test, ODI and T20 series contested between the two teams.

On the other hand, Quinton de Kock will be hoping to lift the morale of the Proteas, which would be on the floor following their dismal performance in England in the World Cup.

The visitors have included quite a number of fresh faces in their squad in a bid to build a team for the World T20 next year and, thus, they certainly lack experience. Despite this, they are, however, expected to pose a greater challenge to India than the West Indies did last month.

It would be an excellent opportunity for South Africa to regain their lost confidence by overcoming a strong team like India in their backyard.

Unlike Dharamsala, the chances of rain interrupting play in Mohali are negligible, and a full game can be expected. The pitch is supposed to be batter friendly, although pacers might get some assistance considering that the match will be played under lights.

Meanwhile, the washout in the opening T20I of the series against India has left the Proteas disappointed as skipper Quinton de Kock made it clear that the team is looking to play as many games as possible with an eye on the World T20 in Australia next year.

“Obviously it is a bit of negative. We would have liked to play at Dharamshala. We would like to play as many matches heading into the 20-20 World Cup next year so losing out on one game is not ideal. But it is what it is.

“It is now a two-match series. It would be an exciting format so we will see how things go,” de Kock said on the eve of the second T20I in Mohali.

The T20I series will be followed by the World Test Championship, but de Kock made it clear that for now, the team is looking only at winning the T20I series.

“When you talk about World Test Championship, we haven’t quite got there yet. We are focusing on T20Is, once those games are done, then we will think about the WTC,” de Kock pointed.

Any India-South Africa series is incomplete without talking about the rivalry between Virat Kohli and Kagiso Rabada and the South Africa skipper feels that this series will once again provide fans with an opportunity to see two of the world’s best in action against each other.

“They are both good players. It is a good competition between both Virat Kohli and Kagiso Rabada. They both are aggressive in their style of play. It would be great for fans to see the battle between them both,” he said.

The Proteas skipper had said that winning the IPL earlier this year was his biggest achievement on the cricket pitch and the comment didn’t go down well with critics, but de Kock stands by his statement and reiterated that he is yet to win the World Cup and till that time, the IPL trophy will sit at the top of the list.

“It is the biggest thing that I have won so far. I have not won a World Cup, once I win that, then it would be the biggest. Winning an IPL final is a big deal and it was a great achievement for me. My opinion is mine. Winning the IPL is currently the biggest achievement for me,” he clarified.

Agencies