Mirpur: They are on a high after four victories on the trot but team combination and injury to Yuvraj Singh will be a worry for India as they go into the second semifinal of the ICC World Twenty20 against a determined South Africa on Friday.
While the Indian team management will be hoping that Yuvraj recovers fully from his ankle injury which he sustained during a football session, selecting the final XI could be a tricky proposition for them. India to reach final if semis called off due to rain (JPN/Agencies)
The dilemma facing the Indians is whether to retain Ajinkya Rahane in place of out of form Shikhar Dhawan and Mohit Sharma, who had replaced Mohammed Shami in the last match against Australia.
While Dhawan is known to be destructive batsman, his form has been a big concern which may prompt the team management to retain Rahane. However, if Yuvraj does not recover fully, both Rahane and Dhawan are likely to be in the playing eleven in such a scenario.
While skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni will wish that senior pro Yuvraj remains fighting fit for the crucial match, the South Africans will be wary of the quality spin attack that they will have to encounter in order to book a berth for the final.
It will be a keenly-fought contest when Virat Kohli’s swagger will meet Imran Tahir’s guile and Rohit Sharma will try to douse the 'fire' set by Dale Steyn.
If one goes by form in the tournament, India can be termed favourites on paper but a game of Twenty20 can change in a matter of three overs as Pakistan captain Mohammed Hafeez realised it the hard way.
While India have had an all-win record coming into the last-four clash, the South African team won three out of their four games, albeit in a contrasting manner.
India have so far convincingly crushed some of the teams such as Australia, Pakistan and Bangladesh while registering a comfortable win against defending champions West Indies.
South Africa, on the otherhand, have recorded some close victories against New Zealand, The Netherlands and England in their last three games.
With the weather forecast for Friday predicting another round of heavy rainfall, India will be the lucky team if it eventually pours as they would then automatically advance to the final of the ICC World T20.
As per the weather forecast in Dhaka, around 70 percent chance of rain is predicted and it could again play spoilsport during the second semi-final between India and South Africa.
As per the playing conditions, even if a five-over per-side match is not possible, the team that is ranked higher in their respective group will be declared winner of the contest.
In this case it will be India as they have emerged as group champions, winning all their four matches in Group 2, while South Africa were second in their group with six points by virtue of three wins.
A dominant Sri Lanka made it to the final for the third time knocking out defending champions West Indies by 27 runs via the Duckworth Lewis method after thundershowers stopped proceedings.
South Africa have had tragic date with rainfall some 22 years earlier in their debut in the 50-over cricket World Cup. An ugly rain-rule knocked the Proteas out of the 1992 World Cup semi-final against England when they needed 22 runs from 13 balls with rain stopping play. Once it resumed, as per new rules, they required 21 off only one ball.
Faf du Plessis would pray that he has luck on his side unlike then skipper Kepler Wessels.
While the Indian team management will be hoping that Yuvraj recovers fully from his ankle injury which he sustained during a football session, selecting the final XI could be a tricky proposition for them.
India to reach final if semis called off due to rain