India v South Africa, Super Eights, World Twenty20, Colombo October 1, 2012

India, SA need win and a bit of luck


Match facts

October 2, 2012
Start time 1930 local (1400 GMT)

Big Picture

The Group 2 matches on Sunday had big billings, but turned out to be far from closely fought. Australia are now the team to beat, and India, with all their selection headaches ahead of the game against Pakistan, ultimately eased to victory. That success will give India's line-up some stability for their final game against South Africa. Their opponents, on the other hand, after a comprehensive defeat against Australia, desperately need to rebound, and rebound strongly, though even that may not be enough. The requirements for each team will be clearly laid out upon conclusion of the Australia-Pakistan game in the afternoon.

Should Pakistan beat Australia, South Africa will bow out and they'll be playing for pride against India. That would leave India needing to beat South Africa by a margin large enough to overtake either Pakistan or Australia's net run-rate, depending on which of those teams is second in the table. Should Australia beat Pakistan, a win over South Africa will see India through. A win for South Africa, in the same situation, will bring it down to net run-rates between three teams - India, South Africa and Pakistan.

India will be relieved, though concerns over Yuvraj Singh's fitness, despite his impressive show against Pakistan, will remain. Their fifth bowler - the combination of Yuvraj and Virat Kohli - picked up three wickets, though it remains to be seen if they bring in an extra spinner against South Africa.

South Africa's problems against Xavier Doherty will prompt questions over how their batting will cope against India's slow bowlers. Their fielding was off the mark and the pressure created by Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel in their early spells proved unsustainable, as the rest of the bowling didn't deliver. The concerns are multiple, as AB de Villiers has admitted, and the slide in form in the Super Eights has threatened to push them out of another ICC tournament. The right results and the right numbers, though, may yet rescue them.

Form guide

(completed matches, most recent first)
India: WLWWL
South Africa: LLWWL

Watch out for

Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel bowled with pace, hit the right lengths, beat the bat and tested Australia's opening pair in Colombo. Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir can counterattack with equal ferocity, but their approach will be interesting to watch.

Rohit Sharma, who's been under pressure, has had a good outing in Sri Lanka so far and has also had his captain's backing. He'll look back on a crucial half-century he scored against South Africa in the inaugural World Twenty20 in 2007, when an Indian win knocked the hosts out of the tournament.

Team news

Faf du Plessis was the South African to pad up and bat in the nets on the eve of the game, and he could well be picked in place of the struggling opener Richard Levi.

South Africa (possible): 1 Hashim Amla, 2 Faf du Plessis, 3 Jacques Kallis, 4 JP Duminy, 5 AB de Villiers (capt & wk), 6 Farhaan Behardien, 7 Robin Peterson, 8 Wayne Parnell, 9 Johan Botha, 10 Dale Steyn, 11 Morne Morkel.

South Africa have had issues against spin, and India could be tempted to play an extra specialist spinner. This could mean the impressive L Balaji may have to sit out.

India (possible): 1 Gautam Gambhir, 2 Virender Sehwag, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 Suresh Raina, 6 Rohit Sharma, 7 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 8 Irfan Pathan, 9 Harbhajan Singh, 10 R Ashwin, 11 Zaheer Khan.

Pitch and conditions

There was some early morning rain in Colombo on the eve of the match, but practice was unaffected. The forecast is for partly cloudy weather during the day, but clear skies at night.

Stats and trivia

  • India have beaten South Africa in four of the six Twenty20 internationals between the teams, including twice in World Twenty20s.
  • JP Duminy is 64 runs away from becoming the first South African to reach 1000 runs in T20 internationals.


"The first match starts at 3:30 so we can watch on television if the ball is turning or not, since all teams have good spinners. That too has an impact on deciding the playing XI."
MS Dhoni on India's selection plans for the final Super Eights game

"We haven't played well enough in the key moments. We should have won the Pakistan game. It is disappointing that we have had opportunities to close out games and we haven't done it."
Gary Kirsten on one of South Africa's problems this World T20

Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Janaka on October 2, 2012, 15:57 GMT

    Even when South Africa leave the tournament without going to semi's, I still say South Africans are the best. I don't care whether they win or not. There is no team who field better than them. There is no fast bowling attack that is amazing to watch... I enjoy Dale Stayne and Morkels as I enjoyed Alan Donald those days... There is no team on earth who did better than them... They play gentleman's cricket all the time (of course Dale tries to express himself, I rather enjoy it. Who dislikes when a fast bowler goes faster and few words are told, frowned a bit at the batter?)... When AB and Amla bat, it's amazing... SA is a well balanced, talented team, and they are the best for me... Who cares about winning?

  • just on October 2, 2012, 14:51 GMT

    @rahulcricket007, dont talk about ur so called sooooper bats, they r being thrashed in first 11 overs. Just watch quietly.

  • Janaka on October 2, 2012, 14:31 GMT

    Indians understand only "win" and "lose"... Come on guys, you should play cricket or any other sport... If you play, you know what "win" means to you, as well as "lose". It's good if you win, but playing and giving a good competition like true heroes are what matter, not "win" or "lose". You should learn from New Zealand... Now, India is almost knocked off, then comes good comments... All the time, it was BAD bla bla bla about other teams, and BOASTING bla bla bla about Indian team... Just appreciate even your enemy if they play good cricket. That's why god gave sports to humans.

  • David on October 2, 2012, 14:02 GMT

    Once again SA exit a world tournament without making it to the semis. As long as they pursue their selection policy SA don't stand a chance. Tsotsobe, Levi & Parnell were passengers on this one. Levi was found out in the IPL and England. Parnell leaks runs and can't bat. Tsotsobe did not get to bowl a ball! Faf looks good against weaker teams, but like Levi can't compete at the top. Why Graeme Smith was left out is unfathomable - he has a record 2nd only to Kallis . From this squad, today's selection is what I expected to see all along: Amla, Kallis, AB , Duminy, du Plessis, Behardien, Albie Morkel, J Botha, RJ Peterson, DW Steyn, Morne Morkel. AB blew it as Captain. Terrible selections - he kept changing the team & the batting order since he became skipper. Bowlers get one over. This has cNOT worked. He must settle down or hand over the Captaincy. Kirsten needs to rein him in and put his foot down with the selectors or SA are doomed for the next World cup. Sad Proteas fan again.

  • Dummy4 on October 2, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    India need to beat SA by 31 runs or more...

  • Krishna on October 2, 2012, 13:38 GMT

    Lets be clear,my team(India)hasn't played good cricket in this tournament and i won't be surprised if Pak go through for semi's,so i wish my Pakistani Brothers best of luck.

  • Dummy4 on October 2, 2012, 13:29 GMT

    India should beat SA very well, it is unlikely Aus and Pak would be in the Finals.

  • Amit on October 2, 2012, 13:27 GMT

    Rohit Sharma has his Captain's backing despite sporadic success while Manoj Tiwari cannot earn his captain's backing despite of success in sporadic chances he has come his way. Best advice to Manoj Tiwari to seek opportunity with some other Cricket playing nation. No matter what he does, he will always warm the bench for India and play second fiddle to 'Prince' Rohit Sharma.

  • Dummy4 on October 2, 2012, 13:25 GMT

    India is out from ICC World Twenty20 World Cup, So Sorry for India :P

  • mark on October 2, 2012, 13:23 GMT

    @ chandru25 on (October 02 2012, 10:48 AM GMT); this is how u gonna win t20 cup? praying rain god... so u prove u r inability India. which is truee.. India have been put themselves in during last to major series Asia cup and CB series.. now again samw fairy tale... India running on Luck..

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