Battle between Virat Kohli, arguably the world’s best batsman now, and the proven Dale Steyn will make for an interesting subplot in the second semifinal of the ICC World T20 2014
South Africa, meanwhile, has had its shares of ups and downs, but has done a fine job of making it to the final four.
Come Friday (April 4), it remains to be seen which team can capitalise on its momentum and hold its nerve for a chance to battle it out for the title. While India will look to make it to its second ICC World T20 final, facing Sri Lanka in a repeat of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 final, South Africa will be desperate to put its past failures at the knockout stages behind it to win its first major ICC tournament.
India has won five of the seven T20I matches between these teams, including the most recent game, a one-run win in a group match at the ICC World Twenty20 2012.
Six of the seven T20Is between these teams have been won by the team batting first.
India played its first T20I against South Africa, a six-wicket victory at Johannesburg in December 2006.
MS Dhoni was dismissed for a duck in that match, the only time he has suffered that fate in T20Is.
India has won its last six T20Is. There have been four longer winning streaks (England and Ireland won eight in a row, South Africa and Pakistan seven).
India has won its last six and nine of its last 10 T20Is played away from home.
Of those to play at least 10 innings in ICC World Twenty 20 matches, only Michael Hussey (54.6) has a higher average than Rohit Sharma (53.2).
Virat Kohli has passed 20 in each of his last six T20I innings, recording two half-centuries in the process.
AB de Villiers has taken 50 catches in T20Is, more than anyone else. He has taken 30 as a fielder and 20 as a wicket-keeper.
Imran Tahir is the second highest wicket-taker in the tournament, with 11 in four innings. Only Ahsan Malik (12) has more.
AB de Villiers needs three runs to become the second player after JP Duminy to hit 1,000 T20I runs for South Africa.
Yuvraj Singh needs 61 runs to become the first player to hit 1,000 T20I runs for India.
Faf du Plessis is aiming to become the second player after Graeme Smith to win 10 T20Is as captain of South Africa.
Virat Kohli v Dale Steyn
This battle between perhaps the world’s best batsman and bowler is a mouth-watering subplot in this semifinal. They know each other well from their IPL exploits but have never faced each other in T20Is and their strong current form marks them out as key men in a game full of match-winners.
Kohli has carried his superb ODI form into this tournament, hitting 170 runs in four innings and in doing so setting the example of how to build T20 innings. He has orchestrated India’s successful run chases in style, showing why he has one of the highest career Opta Key Performance Indicators for resistance amongst players in the tournament.
Factors such as balls per dismissal and chance offered and false shot and dot ball percentages are taken into account, building a rating that more than compensates for his lower power rating. Kohli is the king of the run chase – he averages 70.7 batting second in T20Is, compared with 25.6 batting first.
Dale Steyn has the highest Opta career bowling restriction rating in the tournament. He has a low ratio of sixes per boundary conceded and sees batsmen play a low percentage of attacking shots off his bowling. Factors such as this, combined with economy rate, explain why South Africa’s spearhead was able to deliver that match-winning final over in his team’s crucial win against New Zealand. Of the 17 players with 40 T20I wickets, Steyn’s economy rate of 6.33 is the lowest.