India would aim for a quick recovery from a rare setback when it takes on South Africa in the fourth Twenty20 International (T20I) on Wednesday. A five-wicket defeat on Sunday in Johannesburg has allowed the host to stay alive in the five-match series after having lost the first two matches comprehensively.
A win for India will make the team the first to have won more than one series - One-Day Internationals and T20Is - on a single tour of South Africa. It will also signify the continuation of a good run after having won the Twenty20 series in Australia.
The challenge, however, will be tough, especially after a below-par performance in the third Twenty20; India suffered a middle-order collapse which proved costly. After a solid start, having gathered 93 runs for the loss of two wickets in the 12th over, the team had stumbled to 133 all out. Captain Harmanpreet Kaur’s promising 30-ball 48 and opener Smriti Mandhana’s knock of 37 helped developed a good start but it wasn’t enough.
The Indian bowling, too, looked lacklustre. Pooja Vastrakar led the attack well in the absence of Jhulan Goswami, churning out a four-over spell of 2 for 21; but she lacked support from the other end as her new-ball partner Shikha Pandey went for runs. Off-spinner Anuja Patil was profligate too, giving away 44 runs in her four overs.
Ismail the big threat
South Africa, on the contrary, would be much more confident after the win on Sunday. Shabnim Ismail would be the big threat for India; the seamer had accounted for five wickets in Johannesburg, largely scripting the host’s win.
The match would be followed by the men’s Twenty20 - the second of the series.
- India: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana, Mithali Raj, Veda Krishnamurthy, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Anuja Patil, Taniya Bhatia, Nuzhat Parveen Poonam Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar, Radha Yadav, Rumeli Dhar.
- South Africa: Dane van Niekerk (c), Marizanne Kapp, Trisha Chetty, Shabnim Ismail, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Sune Luus, Odine Kirsten, Mignon du Preez, Lizelle Lee, Chloe Tryon, Nadine de Klerk, Raisibe Ntozakhe, Moseline Daniels.
- Match starts: 4:30 PM IST.