South Africa’s tour of Ireland continues tomorrow with the first T20I match in the 3-match series being played in Dublin (Malahide). The match will start on Monday July 19th, 2021 at 11:00am EST.
After sharing the success in the ODI series, Ireland and South Africa are looking forward to what lies ahead in the shortest format. South Africa recently beat powerhouse West Indies in their last T20I series while for Ireland it will be their first T20I series since March, 2020 which they lost to Afghanistan 2-1. This will be the first time the two sides meet in this format of the game with the T20 Would Cup tuning on both of their minds.
South Africa returned to their regular ways and put the earth back on its axis by winning the last ODI match of the series. With the mental momentum in their favor along with a recent series win in this format, the Proteas will seek to assert their authority against an Ireland side that have the ability to cause an upset, like they have witnessed just a few days ago. Temba Bavuma will lead the side and he is mindful of the fact that he hasn’t been doing a good job with the bat of late whereas Quinton de Kock has been the stand out batsman for the Proteas all year. Tabraiz Shami will spearhead the bowling attack, the number 1 T20I bowler has been sensational for South Africa with match winnings performances, Lungi Ngidi and Kagiso Rabada will also play pivotal roles as well. A team that always destines to be produce, South Africa are set to fine tune their squad in preparation for the T20 World Cup in October, will they be a well-oiled side or will they fall victim to the Irish this time? Ireland have not played any T20 internationals in quite some time so this series will be a test for them.
Questions will be asked if they will have the mental capacity to adapt from the ODI format to the fast pace style that is T20 but the Irish lads will believe that if they can be switched on from the start with the home crowd backing them, they can cause more upsets on this tour. Andy Balbirnie, Ireland’s captain, is expected to be one of the leading batsmen for the home side, veterans Paul Stirling and Kevin O’Brien are also paramount to Ireland’s batting success. On the bowling end of the pitch, Craig Young, Mark Adair and Josh Little have been efficient as well as effective in the previous series against the Proteas, can they replicate their form in the shortest format to aid in Ireland’s fortune or will they succumb to the pressure?
A team with a lot of T20Is under their belt in recent times versus a team that has not played a single T20I in just over 12 months, talk about two sides of a coin? Ireland will definitely have their work cut out for them going into the series but they will not be able to match South Africa when it all boils down. South Africa will win the first match convincingly as the more accomplished T20 side and Ireland will have even more questions to answer. It will be a thrilling contest for sure, but we are backing South Africa to take the lead in the series here.