India v South Africa
Tuesday 12 June 14.30
TV: Live on Sky Sports
Problems for India, although careful watchers will not be entirely surprised. They are 2-0 down having failed to defend a big score in game one and then post one in game two. They are in danger of recording a hat-trick of fails were they to succumb in a chase.
There is no Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli or Jasprit Bumrah. In terms of the former two that's a good thing. With those stars certain to return for the World Cup later this year India are merely treading water until they risk full submersion.
The 148 they managed in Cuttack was a poor effort, and this after Ishan Kishan, who is having a good series, gave them a rollicking start. With Rohit returning in time and KL Rahul also in the mix, India may not even pick one of their most destructive openers.
Bhuv Kumar's four wickets and tight economy by Avesh Khan and Harshal Patel suggest there are few changes required with the ball. Yuz Chahal, however, could come under pressure from Ravi Bishnoi for a spinner's slot.
Possible XI: Ishan, Gaikwad, Shreyas, Pant, Hardik, Karthik, Axar, Harshal, Kumar, Avesh, Bishnoi
De Kock may miss out again
South Africa lost Quinton de Kock through injury for the action from the Barabati Stadium. His replacement with the gloves, Heinrich Klaasen, won them the game.
It showed the quite remarkable strength in depth South Africa boast in contrast to India. Tristan Stubbs, supposed to be the coming force, was dropped, Dewald Brevis is not in the squad and there's no room for Aiden Markam.
Klaasen's 81 from 46 is evidence that he's worth his spot as a batter alone and he can form a dangerous death partnership with David Miller.
South Africa could chose to replace Anrich Nortje with out-and-out wicket-taker Lungi Ngidi. Reeza Hendricks has replaced De Kock in the opening slot.
Possible XI: Bavuma, Hendricks, Pretorius, Van der Dussen, Klaasen, Miller, Rabada, Maharaj, Sahmsi, Nortje
Another venue with not much recent action to go on. But there's a hint that this could be a tricky batting surface at Vizag.
From 14 matches in the Syed Mushtaq competition in November 2019, an incredible seven of those saw first-innings scores below 140.
It could be a spin-friendly surface. We note that three of the top four wicket-takers are all spinners.
Sportsbook have taken account of India's low score in the last game and pitched 160 or more for both at 10/11, the same price as 170 for game two. Bet the Sportsbook odds here.
India need to chase
India are 1.784/5 with South Africa 2.226/5. As we said before the first and second match, the gulf between the teams is not that great. Bet the odds here
India are in a confused state with their T20 side as players search for answers to the question of what their role is. They also need to find a way to break though that middle-order engine room of the South Africans.
The most simple resolution could be chasing. In the last two years India have won nine of their last ten when batting second.
That could open up an in-play wager if South Africa bat first and continue their dominance with the willow. We might get the chance to gamble on India maintaining their chase record with the odds flipped.
There are some interesting prices from Sportsbook on the side markets. First up is the 7/2 that Hendricks top scores for SA. It looks chunky for an opener, particularly one who's partner is unlikely to be De Kock.
Klaasen is 5/1 with Miller getting big again at 8/1. Dwaine Pretorius, used in the No 3 slot as a hitter, is 15/2.
For India, it might be time to bat Hardik Pandya in his preferred No 4 slot. He is 15/2 for top India bat. It's also worth noting the 5/1 on Venkatesh. If he plays there's a chance he opens. Bet the Sportsbook odds here.
With spinners to the fore potentially, we name check Bishnoi at 7/2 for top india bolwer. Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj are 10/3 and 4/1 the pair.