Team India delivered a dominant performance with the ball in the first T20I as the South African batters couldn’t handle the swing and seam on offer. The Protea quicks also enjoyed some assistance from the pitch, but KL Rahul’s grit and Suryakumar Yadav’s brilliance prevented them from making further inroads.
The Baraspara Stadium in Guwahati did dish out a high-scoring encounter in the last international game, which was an ODI between India and West Indies. However, when the Men in Blue played a T20I against Australia, they were bowled out for just 118.
With something likely to be on offer for the bowlers, let’s take a look at three players who might have a great outing with the ball tonight:
#3 Tabraiz Shamsi
Tabraiz Shamsi failed to impress in the first T20I. But he also didn’t have many runs to play with. It is when the batters try to take him on that he becomes dangerous with his variations in pace and length.
Wrist spinners have tasted success on this ground, with Yuzvendra Chahal (3/41 (10)) against West Indies and Adam Zampa (2/19 (4)) against India getting enough bounce and grip from the pitch.
If the South African pacers are able to create some pressure with the new ball, it will force the Indian batters to go hard at Shamsi, something which will bring the best out of him and make him a dangerous customer to deal with.
#2 Deepak Chahar
There has been a lot of talk about how Deepak Chahar can only make India’s XI if Bhuvneshwar Kumar is unavailable, since both are genuine swing bowlers. Chahar got his opportunity in the first T20I and swung the ball both ways with great accuracy.
His sensational inswinger that cleaned up Temba Bavuma just showed exactly what he is capable of when there’s swing on offer. Bhuvneshwar’s form has been a cause of concern for the hosts and if Chahar can keep on delivering with the new ball, his batting ability too considered, he could be included in the main squad for the T20 World Cup.
#1 Arshdeep Singh
Arguably the biggest positive for the Men in Blue from the first T20I was the way Arshdeep Singh swung the new ball. The left-pacer was tipped to be a death-overs specialist, but he proved that he can also deliver with the new ball if needed.
Arshdeep punctured the opposition batting by picking up all three of his wickets in a solitary over and he will be looking to strike early in Guwahati. Australian left-arm pacer Jason Behrendorff got great help from the conditions in Guwahati as he picked up figures of 4/21 against the hosts back in 2017.
Arshdeep will back himself to continue his new-ball form and help in filling Jasprit Bumrah’s void.