The opening game of the five-match T20 series between India and South Africa will take place at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi on Thursday (June 9). The mercury is set to touch around 43 degrees on Thursday although the game gets underway 7pm.
South Africa captain Temba Bavuma has admitted that adjusting to these conditions is tough for his men. Bavuma joked that his teammates have been drinking ‘more water than they drink beer’ back home in order to keep themselves hydrated.
“We expected it to be hot, but not this hot,” Bavuma said in the press conference on Wednesday. “We’re fortunate that the games are being played at night, when it’s bearable. During the day guys are trying to look after themselves as much as possible and drinking a lot more water than the normal beer they drink at home. They are trying to just keep as mentally fresh as they can.”
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) June 8, 2022
Bavuma on Wednesday backed pacer Anrich Nortje to play a major role in the T20 International series against India despite an underwhelming Indian Premier League stint. Nortje was out of international action since the T20 World Cup last year due to a hip injury. The express pacer turned out in the IPL for Delhi Capitals after missing the initial few games. However, he was far from his best.
“Anrich is a big player for us, an integral part of the bowling unit. When he joined the IPL he had come off a huge layoff due to injury,” Bavuma said on the eve of the first T20I against India.
“But the more he plays, the closer he will get to the levels he is capable of. He is an important member of the team and we expect him to perform accordingly,” he added.
The last time the two sides met, hosts South Africa won five out of the six matches during the tour comprising three Tests and as many ODIs earlier this year. However, Bavuma and Co. Will face a different-looking, younger Indian side.
“It’s an exciting series. We faced an Indian team recently but this is a different-looking side. There are a lot of younger fresher faces. Guys who would like to prove themselves and stake a claim to positions within the Indian team. They won’t be short of any motivation. We are not thinking things will happen the same way as they did in SA.”
(with PTI inputs)