Cape Town: It seems only fitting that India’s two-month tour of South Africa, which has already offered fans of both sides so much to cheer about, has the teams coming into the last match with so much to play for.
South Africa took the Test series 2-1, India dominated the one-day internationals 5-1, and now, the Twenty20 International series is keenly balanced at 1-1 ahead of the final match of the tour in Cape Town on Saturday.
India carried their winning momentum from the ODIs into the opening T20I, posting 203/5 and then keeping the home side to 175/9 with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who had been so impressive in the Tests, coming good with a five-wicket haul.
South Africa then struck back, with Heinrich Klaasen and JP Duminy making timely half-centuries, in the face of rain and scorecard pressure, to chase down 188/4 with six wickets and eight balls to spare.
However, they cannot count on getting any favours from India. The men in blue, led by the Virat, have never let their intensity drop, even on a long and challenging tour.
While the captain, who dominated in the ODIs, has been short of runs in the shortest format, the middle order led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni has played positive cricket, while Shikhar Dhawan has been providing good starts.
South Africa: JP Duminy (capt), Farhaan Behardien, Junior Dala, Reeza Hendricks, Christiaan Jonker, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), David Miller, Chris Morris, Dane Paterson, Aaron Phangiso, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi, JJ Smuts.
India: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shikhar Dhawan, MS Dhoni (wk), Dinesh Karthik, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, KL Rahul, Suresh Raina, Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadkat.
Pitch and conditions
A cloudy day is forecast in Cape Town, with showers in the morning, although it is expected to clear up in the evening. The moisture could prove to be tricky for the bowlers again.
Stats and trivia
17 runs needed by Virat Kohli to complete 2000 T20I runs, become third player to reach this milestone.
Saturday 24 February 2018
Start time: 18:00 (16:00 GMT)