India v South Africa: Time is now for Gambhir to find some runs
Gautem Gambhir and Hashim Amla have been largely disappointing for their respective teams at the T20 World Cup this far, but can star with the bat in the final Super Eight clash between India and South Africa.
Amla was a thorn in England’s side in all forms of cricket this summer, but has struggled to replicate this form at the World Cup and haven’t South Africa struggled as a result.
The big-bearded opener has managed just 71 runs at the tournament to date, with no South African positioned in the top 20 run scorers at the World Cup ahead of the last day of Super Eight action.
For a team with serious aspirations of overall victory, this is pitiable and is pretty much the sole reason they will fail to reach the semi finals, even if the possibility is still faintly possible.
Amla is 7/2 to be South Africa’s top runscorer against India and will be tasked with the role of staying at the crease and building a platform for the rest of the innings.
In terms of bowling, South Africa have been fairly good, with JP Duminy and Dale Steyn having the best economy rates of the whole tournament.
Steyn looks a particularly fair price at 13/8 to take at least two Indian wickets in Colombo.
India will probably be told just to see off Steyn and take more risks against the remainder of the South African attack, with Gambhir in desperate need of runs.
He could be playing for his semi-final place if failing with the bat again, having been a disappointment thus far.
The good news for Gambhir is that he managed an unbeaten 49 in his last T20 meeting with South Africa and he has never previously gone eight T20 innings without a half century.
Gambhir is 3/1 to score a 50 against South Africa and 4/5 to register a minimum of three fours.
This is decent value given that despite his struggles at the World Cup, only the in-form Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina have hit more boundaries in the Indian ranks.
However, what is perhaps the best bet is that Gambhir outscores Jacques Kallis by at least one run in a batsmen matchbet.
The South African has managed just 18 runs at the tournament to date and if nothing else is not guaranteed as much time in the middle batting further down the order.
India are favourites at 4/5 to triumph, with South Africa 1/1 for victory.
All odds and markets correct as of publication