T20 World Cup 2024, IND vs SA Final Match Preview – Viral News

Match details

India vs South Africa, T20 World Cup 2024 final
Bridgetown, June 29, 10.30am local time, 2.30pm GMT

Big Picture – It’s just a cup… right?

There are no fairytales in life, obviously, but sport does a great deal to make up for it, to the extent that it offers gifts like this Saturday, when, at the end of 40 overs – give or take a Super Over – 11 men will realise the difference between fantasy and reality is that fantasy was never quite as good as this.

What would that feel like for South Africa? At the start, they couldn’t even play in these World Cups. Then, they changed some things that desperately needed changing and have since been specialising in the impossible. Jonty Rhodes switching gravity off in 1992. Twenty-two runs off 1 ball. Lance Klusener upending the natural order in 1999. Allan Donald run out without the bat even in his hand. There is no team with as rich a history in these tournaments, both good and bad, and there is probably no team that wants this more. The catharsis, should Aiden Markram find himself on that podium, will be seismic, because he will have with him an entire nation that at some point or other thought they might never see the day.

There are those in India who might have felt similarly after November 19, 2023. Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid, for example. Their days are already numbered. The coach is set to depart and the captain may not have a lot of time on his hands as well. But, together, they are responsible for harassing a great team out of its comfort zone and into a place where anything seems possible. All of this – the acceptance that what they were doing in T20 cricket wasn’t working and the commitment to keep on this new path despite considerable personal lows – has been in search of silverware.

For 40 overs – give or take a Super Over – nothing will matter as much as the ball and bat they will be holding in their hands. But after that, whether they win or lose, both India and South Africa should be reminded that they are excellent teams and exceptional people. They should both be able to share their love with family. Toast their time with colleagues. Chase after their children. Enjoy the compassion of their fans. If any of that is contingent on the colour of the medal around their necks, we’re doing something really wrong.

Form guide

India WWWWW (last five completed T20Is, most recent first)
South Africa WWWWW

In the spotlight – Jasprit Bumrah and Heinrich Klaasen

At times, it feels unfair that Jasprit Bumrah gets to bowl four overs in a T20 game. Depending on allegiance, that is either too much or too few. For a sport that is built around pure spectacle, there can be no better ambassador than a man who detonates the wickets, leaves impact craters on the bat, the pad and even the mind of opposition batters, and does it all with a smile on his face.

Heinrich Klaasen is on similarly good terms with the forces that make simple human beings extraordinary. He shows the ball new places to go to and it takes flight all too willingly. This World Cup is yet to see him at his destructive best but the thing is, players of his quality rarely go too long without making a contribution.

Team news

India arrive in the final with seven wins from eight games (one rained out) and in almost all of them, they’ve been dominant. The only time they were really challenged was three weeks ago, on a treacherous New York pitch after posting 119 against Pakistan. South Africa arrive in the final with eight wins from eight and they’ve gone through the ringer. Except each time, with the game on the line, and the pressure at a peak, they coped. Given all this context, it is unlikely that either team will be making any changes (unless South Africa decide the conditions warrant an extra seamer).

India (probable): 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Virat Kohli, 3 Rishabh Pant (wk), 4 Suryakumar Yadav, 5 Shivam Dube, 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Axar Patel, 8 Ravindra Jadeja, 9 Arshdeep Singh, 10 Kuldeep Yadav, 11 Jasprit Bumrah.

South Africa (probable): 1 Quinton de Kock (wk), 2 Reeza Hendricks, 3 Aiden Markram (capt), 4 David Miller, 5 Tristan Stubbs, 6 Heinrich Klaasen 7 Marco Jansen, 8 Keshav Maharaj, 9 Kagiso Rabada, 10 Anrich Nortje, 11 Tabraiz Shamsi/Ottneil Baartman

Pitch and conditions – Feisty conditions again

Outside of New York, Kensington Oval has offered the most wickets to fast bowlers in the T20 World Cup: 59 at an average of 20.22 and economy rate of 7.88. There’s been one total above 200 but the rest fit in a range between 109 and 181 (the latter made by India at the only game either of these finalists have played at the venue this World Cup).

The final will be played on pitch No. 4, which was used for the games between Namibia and Oman, and Scotland and England. It’s the fourth pitch of eight on the square, so neither boundary should be significantly longer than the other.

There is a threat of rain over this final but it does have a reserve day.

Stats and trivia

  • This is only the seventh T20 World Cup match between India and South Africa. The first four squeeze into a five-year time-frame between 2007 and 2012.
  • Never has this tournament yielded a champion who has remained unbeaten. That’s about to change.
  • There isn’t a lot to separate India and South Africa on bowling metrics: 56 wickets at an average of 15.21 and economy rate of 6.42 vs 59 wickets at an average of 15.23 and economy rate of 5.95
  • But the batting is a different story. India average 25.80 and strike at 132.13 with six fifty-plus scores. South Africa average 21.90 and strike at 106.14 with three fifty-plus scores


“You know, I don’t really believe in this ‘Do it for somebody’. I love that quote about somebody asking somebody else, ‘Why do you want to climb Mount Everest?’ and he says ‘I want to climb Mount Everest because it’s there’. I want to win this World Cup because it’s there. It’s not for anyone, it’s not for anybody, it’s just there to win”
India coach Rahul Dravid about the #DoItForDravid campaign

“It’s a game of cricket. Someone has to win, and someone has to lose ultimately. That’s the name of the game. You take it in your stride. You do get belief, though, from winning close games and potentially winning games that you thought you weren’t going to win. It does a lot for your changing room and the vibe in the changing room.”
South Africa captain Aiden Markram about coming to the final after winning a bunch of close games

Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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