Match: India vs South Africa
- ICC World Twenty20 Super Eight Stage (Group 2)
- Date: Tuesday, 2nd October 2012
- Ground: Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
- Schedule: Match starts 14:00 GMT . Indian viewers can watch the live telecast on Star Cricket from 7:30 pm local time.
After years of surprisingly poor performances in T20 Internationals, Australia have finally put up a consistent, credible show in this World T20. They have looked the best team in the tournament thus far.
Having won both their Super Eight matches with convincing margins against India and South Africa, Australia sit pretty on top of the pool table with 4 points and a very healthy Net Run Rate of +1.71. Only a huge defeat tomorrow can create a situation where they might not make it to the semi-final.
For all practical purposes, we can count Australia as through. That leaves India, South Africa and Pakistan to fight it out for the second semi-final spot.
Before the India vs South Africa match begins, we will know the outcome of the crucial Pakistan vs Australia match. The result and the final scores of that match will have a huge bearing on this match. We have discussed the possible scenarios here.
We can divide our prediction in two parts, depending on the result of the Pak vs Aus game.
- If Pakistan win: that will be the end of the tournament for SA. In this case, India will be facing a demoralized South Africa team. That should make it much easier for India. But in this case, India will have its task cut out. It won’t just have to beat the Proteas, but by a certain margin. If that margin is very huge, India may end up losing trying to do too much. This risk would be greater if India bat first.
- If Pakistan lose: in this case both India and South Africa could go through. For India, a win might be enough but SA will need to beat India by a certain margin to qualify for the semi . That puts the pressure on them again.
As we could see, in both situations, India seem to have the edge. Plus the fact that South Africa have the habit of choking under pressure. Our prediction is for an India win, so we would advise you to put your money on India on this match.
India will be tempted to field the same XI that beat Pakistan. But the Premadasa Stadium and the opposition might favor the inclusion of a spinner. Don’t be surprised if Irfan Pathan or Zaheer Khan is dropped to make way for Harbhajan. Khan has been lacklustre and Pathan can bat. Therefore we would be happy to see Bhajji replacing Zaheer.
South Africa might be prompted to bring in an extra pacer and remove the spinner. The Indian batsmen are very good players of spin, though they have enough pacers in their ranks and would be well advised to retain some variation. Tsotsobe?