The first of India’s final three T20I matches before their embark of the T20 World Cup campaign gets underway tonight in Thiruvananthapuram as Rohit Sharma-led Team India lock horns against South Africa in the series opener. That India is playing South Africa this close to the T20 World Cup will augur well for the Men in Blue since the two teams will be up against each other in the Super 12 stage of the World Cup. With plenty at stake, the two teams will hope to get things in order, the first of which is winning the toss.
With dew proving to be a game-changer, teams have fancied chasing. Aaron Finch did it in the first T20I and Australia won. The tables turned in the remaining two matches and once Rohit opted to field, India won both the games chasing. Surprisingly though, on Wednesday, when Temba Bavuma lost the toss after calling heads, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar came up with a rather unique criticism of the South Africa captain.
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“I just want to point out something about the toss. I don’t know what Temba Bavuma did, what he called. But he did he listen to what Aaron Finch was calling? Because look, Rohit Sharma won the toss. Which side did the coin fall on. It is going to be the same coin which is going to be used for the toss. So if the coin is falling in a particular way, you have got to be smart not to call the wrong side. I am saying this because the toss is important. If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t have made a difference. At the end of the day in a T20 game perhaps it doesn’t. But if you want to get some advantage, learn what happened in the previous matches,” Gavaskar said on Star Sports before the start of the 1st T20I.
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Bavuma did not mind batting first although he did admit his decision would have been to send India in. Not too long ago, South Africa were in India in June for a three-T20I series, which ended in a 1-1 result after the decider got washed out. Like India, SA too have three matches to fine tune their team combinations ahead of the T20 World Cup and Bavuma said he wanted to seize every opportunity to do so.
“We probably would have fielded first as well. Good going over the last couple of months. This is an important series for us and we want to continue all the good work. Guys always enjoy the India trip, the energy of the guys is up again and nice to be back in action after a couple of months. Different conditions to Australia but in terms of match practice, it is a great opportunity,” the South Africa captain added.