Things must be low in the South African camp following their series defeat to visitors England. While the result wasn’t surprising, and there’s still a third match to win - if only for the sake of retaining some respectability, it has become apparent to them that even though they played well, England are narrowing chasing down to an art. Winning both matches in the very last over, Eoin Morgan’s men have shown solid temperament and balance. It was an eventful match, and we’ll go over the best of those events while mulling over 5 talking points from the second T20I.
1. The lack of a big knock
A big knock or two is the backbone of any decent inning by a team, and for South Africa there just were none. Although Quinton de Kock made a promising start, he could only get as far as 30. Rassie van der Dussen was just way too slow and/or careful, with a ridiculous 0 boundaries in his 25* from 29 in a T20 game. George Linde was doing well, but got too greedy with running. Overall, that important piece of the batting puzzle was just lacking.
2. The power of economical bowling
There were no maidens, no standout bowlers dominating the batsman, and no one with even a 3-wicket haul, but overall, the English bowlers managed to keep things economical. A good economy rate can often be as effective as taking a wicket, and when that lack of runs results in frustrated batsmen losing their wickets at regular intervals, you have a winning combination.
3. Lungi Ngidi and South Africa’s lack of all-rounders
It’s not as though South African bowlers weren’t effective - in many ways they were more effective than their English counterparts with most of them conceding less and Tabraiz Shamsi being the pick of the night out of both teams. However, despite his two strikes, Lungi Ngidi gave away a ridiculous 51 runs from his 4 overs. With the second most expensive Proteas bowler being George Linde with an economy rate of 6.75, and given that Ngidi’s T20I economy rate is a staggering 9.01, it’s important for South Africa to enlist some all-rounders in the playing 11 to provide some alternatives in such situations.
4. The English lineup - what needs to stay and what needs to change
While most English players have been doing well, a few have been consistently underperforming. Jason Roy hasn’t done well in a while, and Jos Buttler isn’t doing well at the top. Likewise, as we’ve said before, Eoin Morgan is coming in too late to make any significant impact. Lastly, Chris Jordan and Tom Curran have been just way too expensive lately, with the former sporting a T20I economy rate of 8.66, and the latter 9.16. Their alternatives at this series, Reece Topley and Mark Wood, also have economy rates of 9+. England might want to find a consistent bowler who can control the flow of runs before the T20 World Cup.
5. What South Africa can do to change their fortunes
With the persistent failures of Temba Bavuma, he could be replaced by Janneman Malan, who made a promising show at South Africa’s last ODI series. Similarly, bringing in Andile Phehlukwayo or Dwaine Pretorius for Klaasen, Hendricks, or van der Dussen, or both while letting Ngidi sit one out might be a good way to balance out the lineup as well as have a 6th-bowler option.
What’s next for these two teams?
While England get ready for a whitewash that might see them overtake Australia in the rankings to top both limited overs formats, the Proteas prepare to stop said whitewash at all costs in order to preserve their dignity as well as remain well ahead of Sri Lanka. The third match of the series takes us back to the Newlands in Cape Town, and it starts at 9:30PM IST on Tuesday, December 1st.
How our predictions went
South Africa won neither the toss nor the match. In the batting department, only Dawid Malan scoring a 50 turned out to be true, and England had the larger number of both boundaries. As for the bowlers, neither Rabada nor Archer managed to take the highest number of wickets. Tough luck. Join us next time when we review the third T20I between South Africa and England!