The Rishabh Pant-led Team India made a stunning comeback in the ongoing five-match T20I series, winning back-to-back fixtures to force South Africa to play a decider. Notably, the hosts were trailing behind after losing the first two games but came back strongly by handing Proteas defeats in the third and fourth T20I. The fifth and final match of the epic series is set to be held at MA Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday.
As both sides are gearing up to play the final game, former Indian opener Wasim Jaffer has given his verdict regarding who has a better chance to grab the series. The Mumbaikar reckoned that the home team would have the edge over the Proteas as the visitors would be under pressure after facing two defeats with big margins.
Jaffer also observed that the Temba Bavuma-led South Africa are facing injury concerns; hence the ‘Men in Blue’ have the upper hand in the contest.
“India will have the upper hand in Bangalore because both their wins have been on big margins. South Africa must be mentally hurt that they lost so easily after winning the first two matches. There are some injury concerns as well with Bavuma and perhaps Marco Jansen being injured, Aiden Markram has also gone, so I feel India has the upper hand for this match,” Jaffer said in a chat show on ESPNcricinfo.
The cricketer-turned-analyst shared his thoughts concerning India’s playing XI in the fifth T20I and said the hosts are unlikely to make any change. However, Jaffer felt that if they have to change, Deepak Hooda could replace Shreyas Iyer.
“We were expecting some changes after the first two losses, but India didn’t make any change, so I don’t think any change will happen when they have won two matches. If we have to throw a name in the hat, it could be Deepak Hooda for Shreyas Iyer because he batted at No. 3 in the IPL as well and was successful as well. But the pattern the Indian team is playing in, I think we will see more continuity,” Jaffer added.