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|Faf du Plessis||34||20||5||2||170.00|
|Rassie van der Dussen||56||44||5||1||127.27|
|Quinton de Kock||5||5||1||0||100.00|
After clean-sweeping Zimbabwe in the One Day International series 3-0, the Proteas will be looking to replicate their performance in the first T20 International match which is to be played at Buffalo Park on Tuesday, October 9. Although Zimbabwe improved their performance massively in the third ODI as compared to the first two, it wasn't really enough to deter the hosts from winning. The shortest format will suit the visitors more than the ODIs and they'll be keen to redeem themselves with a win in the first T20I match of the series.
The main reason for the Proteas' success in the One Day International series was their bowling performance as they dismissed Zimbabwe completely thrice in three occasions. The chief architect for their brilliant bowling performance was Imran Tahir who picked up 10 wickets in three games including a six-for in the second ODI.
The Proteas were bolstered by the return of Faf du Plessis in the final ODI and the lineup will be further strengthened in the T20Is with the return of Quinton de Kock and David Miller. With some impressive innings against India earlier and two important knocks against Zimbabwe, Heinrich Klaasen has become an important player for the Proteas in recent times. With the likes of Du Plessis, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, and Klaasen, this batting order of theirs is certainly tougher to ball to as compared to the one which was in the ODIs.
Despite Kagiso Rabada and Dale Steyn being rested for the T20I series, their bowling attack looks lethal. Lungi Ngidi and Andile Phehlukwayo were impressive in the ODI series and they'll form the backbone of the South African bowling attack. Unlike the ODIs, the Proteas are expected to go in with the two spinners - Imran Tahir and Tabraiz Shamsi.
While their bowling did pretty well in the ODI series, their batting had some chinks. Their batting is expected to improve with the comeback of Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock which makes this Protean lineup a lot stronger than their ODI lineup.
Quinton de Kock, Gihahn Cloete, Faf du Plessis, RVD Dussen, David Miller, Christiaan Jonker, Andile Phehlukwayo, Junior Dala, Imran Tahir, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi.
As had been the case historically, the Zimbabweans were outplayed by the men in green in all three departments of the game. Although they were able to push the Proteas in the first couple of matches, the fight was clearly missing in the concluding match of the series.
Their misery in batting is highlighted by the fact that they were unable to play out the 50 overs in all three matches. However, the performance of Hamilton Masakadza, Brendon Taylor, and Sean Williams in the third ODI should have ignited a ray of hope among their fans.
Bowlers did pretty well in the ODI series except for the third match of the series. Elton Chigumbra has 16 wickets in 23 innings to his name in T20 Internationals and he will be the biggest threat for the Proteas' batsmen. Tendai Chatara and Kyle Jarvis did reasonably well in the ODI series, but the visitors will be hoping for better support from their remaining bowlers, especially in the middle overs.
Chamu Chibhabha, Hamilton Masakadza, BRM Taylor, Tarisai Musakanda, Sean Williams, Peter Moor, E Chigumbura, Brandon Mavuta, Kyle Jarvis, Tendai Chisoro, C Mpofu.
It's become a trend to chase in T20s with totals getting difficult to defend. We expect the captains to go with the trend and bowl first after winning the toss.
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
Just like the final ODI of the series, the surface at the Buffalo Park is expected to be an excellent pitch to bat on. The weather will be perfect to play Cricket with the light breeze blowing across the ground. It could be a difficult day to defend and the team batting first will be looking to get at least 170 on the board.
South Africa improved their performance as the ODI series progressed, but it was a flat line as far as the performance of their neighbors is concerned. However, the Zimbabweans have done decently in the shortest format of the game and can be a threat. Their focus will be on improving their batting and if they can do that, we could see a close contest. Having said that, South Africa have done better in the head to head contests and are the better team on paper. With improved batting lineup and lethal bowling attack, they are better placed to win the opening T20I of the series.