The Men in Blue have clearly had an upper hand over South Africa in the limited-overs format of the current tour. However, it will be a crime to predict the outcome of a T20 International based on a team’s form.
Even though India claimed the 1st T20I by a fine margin, the Proteas bounced back in the 2nd T20I at Centurion, to level the series. The last T20I of the series now comes to Cape Town, where the two sides will clash today.
Team India had picked a lot of T20 specialists for this specific tour, and among one of them is left-handed batsman, Suresh Raina. The 31-year-old had been out of the squad due to his fitness and lack of form, but his impressive comeback in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy helped him regain a place in the Indian team.
He has continued that form, smashing two cameos in the two matches so far.
Just before the series decider in Cape Town, the southpaw claimed that the contest will be an evenly matched one. “We have to finish really well,” BCCI.tv quoted Raina saying.
The left-hander also spoke about skipper Virat Kohli’s characteristic, where he does not let the intensity of the game drop at any moment during the series. “Our captain Virat Kohli is such that he doesn’t take anything for granted and that will be our approach in the final. Inputs have been given to everyone in the team by the team management and we need to go out there and enjoy ourselves. We need to do well in all the departments tomorrow and we will look for a win,” Raina spoke.
In the 2nd T20I, South African batsmen Heinrich Klaasen and skipper JP Duminy showed a lot of character in helping the Proteas chase 189.
“They played really well in the previous game. JP Duminy took up the responsibility and finished well for the side. Klassen was great too, but the dew made a lot of difference. We know what we have to do and have our plans in place. It is going to be an exciting game tomorrow. Hopefully we can enjoy ourselves and get the trophy home,” the 31-year-old added.
The mentality of the Men in Blue is quite apparent, with the batsman trying to make the most of the fielding restrictions during the first 6 overs, and getting the team off to a good start.
Raina, who has been coming ahead of the skipper in the batting line-up has been up to the task, scoring runs from the very first ball of his two innings.
“Virat has showed that faith in me in the last two games and we have been able to dominate their bowlers in the first six overs. In T20Is it is really important to start well. You have to play your shots at the top of the order. The first six overs are crucial. When you have batting depth in the middle-order, you need to take your chance. I have been asked to play my natural game and will continue to look to give good starts for the team.”