At the Wanderers this afternoon, the two teams play the opening match of a three-game T20 International series, with Duminy, who will captain the side, seeking redemption after Virat Kohli’s team won the One-Day series 5-1.
“This is a quicker and more aggressive format, I think it will naturally bring out the best in us,” said Duminy. He reflected on South Africa’s sole victory in the One-Day series as proof that a more aggressive approach may suit the home team. “You look at the ‘Pink Day’, a shortened game, where the platform was set for what was almost a T20-type format; that mindset brought out the best in us.”
In addition, some new faces will bring some much-needed freshness to the environment, with the likes of Christiaan Jonker, Junior Dala, brand new to the international scene, while Heinrich Klaasen, has just started his international career and Aaron Phangiso and Dane Paterson will hope to reignite theirs.
While there will be a natural optimism given those new faces and the fresh energy they will bring, the same old challenges await the T20 Proteas. Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are all still here as part of the Indian T20 squad.
As is the captain Kohli, fresh off a series in which he scored 558 runs with three centuries, the most stunning of which came in the last ODI on Friday, and featured a host of alluring stroke-play.
India’s coach Ravi Shastri said not much would change with his side’s approach for the game’s shortest format. “It’s a different format, you respect that format and go in with the same ideology with which we went into the one-day game. The work ethic will remain the same, I’m sure the intensity will remain the same.”
* South Africa’s women’s team, like their male counterparts, have also struggled to get on top of their Indian opponents’ bowling. Dané van Niekerk’s team finds itself 2-0 down in the five-match T20 series, needing to win today at the Wanderers to keep alive their prospects in the series.
Mithali Raj dominated the first two games of the series, making an unbeaten 54 in the opener and following that up with an unbeaten 76 in East London on Friday night, where the Indians comfortably chased down a target of 143. The women’s international starts at 9.45am, the men's at 2.30pm.
South Africa: JP Duminy (capt), Farhaan Behardien, Junior Dala, AB de Villiers, Reeza Hendricks, Christiaan Jonker, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Chris Morris, Dane Paterson, Aaron Phangiso, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi, Jon-Jon Smuts
India: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (capt), Manish Pandey, Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Axar Patel, Lokesh Rahul, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadkat, Hardik Pandya.