Proteas wary of 'confident' India, look to fill gaps for final T20 World Cup prep

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South African batter Temba Bavuma
South African batter Temba Bavuma
Pankaj Nangia/Gallo Images
  • SA skipper Temba Bavuma hopes they will match an in-form Indian outfit on their white-ball series tour.
  • The Proteas play three T20Is and three ODIs against India and will use the T20 series as preparation for next month's World Cup.
  • Bavuma says it's the perfect opportunity for players to get some game time and cement their spots ahead of the T20 showpiece in Australia.

Proteas captain Temba Bavuma hopes his side will use the Indian series as valuable game time ahead of next month's T20 World Cup.

In June, South Africa toured India for five T20s with the series ending in a thrilling 2-2 draw after the final T20I was washed out.

Bavuma returns to action for the first time since recovering from an elbow injury suffered in the fourth match of that series.

READ | Bavuma has put SA20 snub behind him: 'The focus for me is on the World Cup'

This time around, the Proteas will play three T20Is and three ODIs against India from 28 September to 11 October, with the T20 series used as preparation for next month's T20 World Cup in Australia.

"We obviously expect it to be a good one, a competitive one as it always is," Bavuma told reporters on Tuesday.

"The last time we were here, we were challenged in all departments of our game and I think we answered it quite well. The small nature of the field, we'll be trying to match them, but we expect a good, strong, competitive series."

This is the Proteas' final preparation for the T20 World Cup set for 16 October - 13 November. Bavuma will again lead the Proteas after his charges missed out on the knockout stages at last year's T20 World Cup in the UAE.

"This is our last series before the World Cup, we'll be looking at this series to fill the gaps we feel are there within our team," said Bavuma.

"A lot of guys have been playing a lot of cricket so if we can manage those guys' intensities... and then we have some guys who need some cricket under their belt.

"This is our last preparation, different conditions than in India and Australia, but still match time."

Last week, India defeated Australia 2-1 in a three-match T20I series and will be boosted during this series by the inclusion of skipper Rohit Sharma, star batter Virat Kohli and seamer Jasprit Bumrah.

"Those are big names with the pedigree behind them, but as you would've seen with the last while in terms of their performances, [it] boosted the confidence in the team," said Bavuma.

"We expect them to be leading from the front. It's good for us to be coming up against some of the best. We expect those guys to bring a lot of confidence and x-factor into their team."

Play on Wednesday starts at 15:30 (SA time).

Proteas' tour to India schedule:

Wednesday, 28 September - 1st T20I at Greenfield International Stadium, Thiruvananthapuram

Sunday, 2 October - 2nd T20I at Barsapara Cricket Stadium, Guwahati 

Tuesday, 4 October - 3rd T20I at Holkar Cricket Stadium, Indore

Thursday, 6 October - 1st ODI at Lucknow

Sunday, 9 October - 2nd ODI at Ranchi

Tuesday, 11 October - 3rd ODI at Delhi

T20 squads:

India

Rohit Sharma (captain), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Dinesh Karthik (wk), R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Arshdeep Singh, Umesh Yadav, Harshal Patel, Deepak Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Shahbaz Nadeem, Shreyas Iyer

South Africa

Temba Bavuma (captain), Quinton de Kock (wicketkeeper), Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Tabraiz Shamsi, Tristan Stubbs, Bjorn Fortuin, Marco Jansen, Andile Phehlukwayo

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