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T20 World Cup 2024 Final: How Can South Africa Beat India To Clinch First World Cup Title?

The finalists of the Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 have been decided and for the first time ever, an unbeaten team will lift the title when India lock horns with South Africa on June 29. And this time, it’s Bridgetown’s Kensington Oval that will host the first daytime T20 World Cup Final. This will also be the first time South Africa will be competing in the Men’s World Cup Final. Apart from winning the inaugural Champions Trophy Final in 1998, South Africa have never made the final of any Men’s ICC tournament and needless to say, Aiden Markram and his team will be keen to etch their name in history.

Ahead of a must-win contest for both sides on Saturday, let’s discuss how the Proteas can tackle the Asian giants to clinch their maiden World Cup title.

Is South Africa prepared for high-flying India in the final?

Win toss, bat first

With bowling being their strong suit, South Africa should prefer bowling second in the final. In the four day matches played at the Kensington Oval, the team winning the toss has decided twice to bat first in the tournament.

Overall in this tournament, India have batted first five times out of their seven matches and have won them all. Tactically, Aiden Markram’s men should opt to bat first after winning the toss in the final. Even if India bat first, South Africa have enough firepower in their bowling to remove the likes of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli early in the innings.

Go slow to Suryakumar

India’s middle order has been making the difference in most of their wins and with Suryakumar Yadav in the middle, it’s always a challenge for any opposition bowling unit.

Surya – the world’s No.1 T20I batter – loves using any pace and bounce on offer to go behind the wicket which is prominently known as ‘Supla Shot’. The unorthodox shots behind the stumps have brought out the best of Suryakumar against South African pacers.

Interestingly, pacers have found success against him with their slower balls – a reminder of how Suryakumar struggled against slow bouncers in the ODI World Cup 2023 Final.

The Proteas’ pacers need to be wary about any chinks in Suryakumar’s armour and try different variations consistently against him.

Maharaj in the powerplay can work

Indian opening duo Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have always enjoyed facing pace early in the innings. South Africa, generally, have opened the proceedings with pacers Marco Jansen and Kagiso Rabada.

After their loss to India in the semis, skipper Jos Buttler admitted his tactical mistake of not going with spinner Moeen Ali in the powerplay. Bearing this in mind, South Africa should try out a couple of overs from Keshav Maharaj inside the first six overs. Traditionally, both Rohit and Kohli have tended to score slowly against left-arm spin.

South Africa play spin better

South African batters tend to play spin better compared to the other SENA countries. Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller have been South Africa’s best players of spin while the likes of Quinton de Kock and skipper Markram still have a decent hold on spinners.

But can they withstand the collective pressure that the Indian spin trio of Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja could bring from both ends? Yes, they can. With a clear head, the Protea batters must use the depth of their crease to attack the Indian spinners and keep their run rate healthy.

When it’s do or die opposition doesn’t matter

South Africa have always been on the receiving end of defeat in World Cup knockouts and this is the first time they have made a World Cup Final. Interestingly, they have come close on many occasions, reaching the semis in five ODI World Cups (1992, 1999, 2003, 2015, and 2023).

And in T20 World Cups, they have made two semi-final appearances (2004 and 2014) before this year. As the stars seemingly align for South Africa in 2024, it will be up to their men on the field to ensure that the Proteas create history by clinching their first-ever World Cup trophy.

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