The match is likely to decide the Group 2 topper and India’s likely semi-final spot.
The WACA has been the traditional venue for many decades, but now the newly built concrete jungle called Optus Stadium hosts the international matches.
Although it looks like any other modern cricket stadium without WACA’s old world charm, what both grounds have in common is the gritty nature of its track and the good bounce that can make life difficult for batsmen.
In this backdrop, Rabada and Nortje, two of the world’s most fearsome pace traders are expected to pose some tough questions to Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav.
While Rabada will bowl full and seam and swing the bowl at 145 clicks, expect Nortje to mix it up with either back of length or the hard lengths at 150 plus pace.
Both Rohit and Virat are fantastic horizontal batsmen and the Powerplay overs are all about how well the hand-eye coordination of the top order works.
The extra pace off the track will give split second batsmen less time to react and it will be interesting to see what the approach of the Indian batsmen will be.
Will they start attacking from the word ‘go’ or as has been a trend in this T20 World Cup, play the first 10 overs cautiously and take the attack back to the opposition during the back-10.
While left-hander Rishabh Pant with his bold batting would have been a good foil for Rohit at the top of the order, head coach Rahul Dravid is understood to be looking no further than an out-of-form Rahul for now.
The other alternative to include Pant is to drop Dinesh Karthik, whose hold in the two matches has been below par.
The Netherlands’ match is not a good enough indicator to determine how well the Indian team is ready for the Protea Test.
The last series between the two teams was played on low pitched Indian tyres, on which there was meat and drink for batsmen to hit through the line and bump one’s front foot.
As far as South Africa‘s bowling combination is concerned, it would not be surprising if they drop left-arm wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi and include an extra seam bowler in either Marco Jansen or Lungi Ngidi.
The Indian team has played comfortably against Shamsi in the past and two spinners at the Optus could be a luxury unless they want to accelerate the over rate.
Tampering with the winning combination is ill-advised, but with three in-form left-handers in Quinton de Kock, Rilee Rossouw and David Miller in South Africa’s top six, Axar Patel’s recent performances will certainly be in focus as the team combination is discussed . .
Axar’s economical rate while bowling to left-handers at almost 9 runs per over and with Ravichandran Ashwin in the playing eleven will be a cover for the Gujarat left-arm spinner.
Also Hardik Pandya might build his full quota in that case unless India thinks of playing Yuzvendra Chahal instead of Axar.
But in that case they will have to somehow get a left-handed Pant in the side in place of Rahul.
Also, being the only left-handed batsman in the team (apart from Pant) is also an advantage for Axar.
The only problem in South Africa’s top order is its captain Temba Bavumawhose game does not suit the needs of T20 cricket and looks completely out of place.
However, with two of the most exciting players in Tristan Stubbs and Rossouw, South Africa will have an upper hand on Indian bowling attack where only Mohammed Shami has the ability to bowl north of 140 km/h.
Rossouw will come into the match with the rarest of rare rugby T20I centuries (only other than France’s Gustav McKeon) and will be the biggest threat to Indian bowlers.
Adelaide will be India’s semi-final destination if they topple South Africa on Sunday and then beat Bangladesh and Zimbabwe in the next two matches.
The top player of the group will play in Adelaide on November 10.
However, India could end up traveling to Sydney even after topping Group 2, in case Australia finish as runners-up in Group 1 and sneak into the semi-finals. Their fixed semi-final place is due to a pre-tournament arrangement.
India: Rohit Sharma (captain), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Rishabh Pant (wk), Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Hooda
South Africa: Temba Bavuma (captain), Quinton de Kock, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Rilee Rossouw, Tristan Stubbs, Kagiso Rabada, Wayne Parnell, Keshav Maharaj, Tabraiz Shamsi, Marco Jansen, Anrich Nortje, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Lungi Ngidi