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South Africa will be eager to start off on a high

Source : SIFY
Last Updated: Thu, Sep 20, 2012 11:08 hrs
de-Villiers

Zimbabwe haven't had the best of starts to their T20I Cup campaign, after being demolished by the Sri Lankan spinners. Things only seem to be getting tougher for them as they now have to go up against one of the tournament favourites and the number one ranked side, South Africa.

South Africa will be eager to start off on a high and they will not have a better opportunity than this. The game does look to be an easy task for the Proteas but therein lies the possibility of them becoming complacent and that is exactly what Zimbabwe will be hoping for. For Brendan Taylor's side, this game is a do or die affair, as a loss would see them crash out of the tournament.



Team News

Zimbabwe: In their first game, Zimbabwe looked like a side in complete disarray and never really seemed to be at par with their opponents in terms of quality. The bowling wasn't very tidy, a point that was proved by the 20 extras they managed to concede, and the batting wasn't far from being a disaster. Taylor failed to score in the first game and he will be eager to change things and spur his side on.

Ray Price was someone who was left out of the playing XI for the first encounter and with bags of experience it might be a wise idea to include him for the game against South Africa. The left arm orthodox bowler has taken 13 wickets in his 14 T20Is and could be a handful, especially against a side that is known to have a weakness to spin. Apart from that though, the rest of the side should remain unchanged.

South Africa: The Proteas are coming off a successful tour in England and are touted to be the best in this format at the moment. To add to that, opener Richard Levi's morale should have been boosted by the recent award he received from the ICC for the T20 performance of the year. Everything seems to be going right for this side and they have a good combination that seems to be working for them.

The batting seems to be strong, however, it will be interesting to see how they fare in a big tournament without the presence of Graeme Smith at the top. What really works for this South African side is the bowling. The attack boasts of a lot of variety and is led by the likes of Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel. Variation in pace is something that is crucial on flat Sri Lankan wickets and that is just what Johan Botha and Robin Peterson will provide. A big advantage for AB de Villiers' side is the presence of Jacques Kallis who can be used to provide stability at the top of the order and can also be called in to bowl four very tidy overs.

Quotes

Gary Kirsten on the T20 series in Zimbabwe: "I said from the outset that the importance of our tour to Zimbabwe was to play more warm-up games to get a feel for what our combinations are and what our strategies are going to be."

Brendan Taylor after the defeat to Sri Lanka: "It is a tough pill to swallow. We are a better side than what we performed today."

Teams:

South Africa (From): Richard Levi, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers(w/c), Albie Morkel, Justin Ontong, Jacques Kallis, Johan Botha, Robin Peterson, Wayne Parnell, Morne Morkel, Farhaan Behardien, Jean-Paul Duminy, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Dale Steyn

Zimbabwe (From): Hamilton Masakadza, Vusi Sibanda, Brendan Taylor(w/c), Elton Chigumbura, Craig Ervine, Malcolm Waller, Graeme Cremer, Prosper Utseya, Kyle Jarvis, Brian Vitori, Chris Mpofu, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Forster Mutizwa, Ray Price, Richard Muzhange

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