A high flying Indian cricket team will take on South Africa in their final warm-up match of World Twenty20 at the Wankhede Stadium here on Saturday.
India outclassed the West Indies by 45 runs in the first practice game on Thursday in Kolkata, thanks to an impressive unbeaten 98 by opener Rohit Sharma which was followed by some outstanding bowling.
Team Director Ravi Shastri with Virat Kohli and M S Dhoni during a training session. Pic/ AFP
India are in fine form as they have won 11 of their last 12 T20 fixtures. They come into the tournament after back-to-back Twenty20 International series triumphs against Australia, Sri Lanka and more importantly the Asia Cup recently.
India start their World T20 campaign against New Zealand in Nagpur on March 15 and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni will look to give his teammates as much time in the middle as possible against the Proteas before going in to the opener.
In the first practice match, all eyes were on seamer Mohammed Shami, who proved his match fitness by claiming two wickets in the game at Eden Gardens.
With not much homework to do in the batting department, Dhoni will hope the hosts keeps things simple and play their natural game like they have done in the recent past.
In the bowling unit, experienced Ashish Nehra and young Jasprit Bumrah have got their team breakthroughs when their captain needed them alongside spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
On the other hand, South Africa enter the warm-up game after losing the T20I series 1-2 to Australia.
As always the Proteas will rely on T20 specialists AB de Villiers, David Miller, Quinton de Kock and skipper Faf du Plessis in the batting line-up to fire for them and get the job done ahead of the main tournament.
Star leg-spinner Imran Tahir will aim to use the spin-friendly conditions to good effect and warm up well alongside pacer Kagiso Rabada and all-rounders Chris Morris and David Wiese.