- It is one of the few pitches in India that stays the same throughout the game
- The chasing teams have won 2 out of 3 times at this venue
India will look to level the series against South Africa in the penultimate T20 at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot. After two consecutive losses at the start of the series, the Indian bowling unit staged a perfect comeback to thrash Proteas by a margin of 48 runs.
Before all the action begins, here is everything you should know about the venue.
Will Toss Matter?
It is one of the few pitches in India that stays the same throughout the game. The ball generally comes on to the bat nicely and continues throughout the game. The pitch may get a little better under lights, but it won't make much difference. So, losing the toss here won't affect the game dramatically.
What to choose after winning toss?
As far as the records go, in the 3 T20Is played at this venue, the chasing team have won the game twice. But the difference isn't huge and the losing captain won't be much disappointed if he's asked to bat first.
The average first innings score at this venue is Average 1st Inns 183. For the teams batting second, it falls to 170. The highest score recorded here is when India made 202/4 vs Australia.
India vs South Africa - 4th T20 - Preview
Rishabh Pant will aim to bounce back into form and help India level the series against South Africa in the penultimate T20I on Friday at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot.
Pant's captaincy skills have come under a scanner and his poor batting form isn't helping the wicketkeeper-batsman. However, India will take heart from the fact that Pant can handle adversity and deliver goods in crunch situations.
South Africa won the first two T20Is in Delhi and Cuttack while India bounced back with a 48-run win in Visakhapatnam.
India's middle overs woes have put the team under a lot of pressure and Pant will hold the key as they look to iron out lower-order issues. They will need another near-perfect game to take the five-match series into the decider.
India: Rishabh Pant (c & wk), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik.
South Africa: Temba Bavuma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Wayne Parnell, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Tristan Stubbs, Rassie van der Dussen, Marco Jansen.
Match starts at 7pm IST.
The southpaw has been caught in the deep multiple times in the series trying to reach for the ball when it is not there in his hitting zone.
Pant prefers to hit in the cow corner region but the South African bowlers have not allowed him to do that by bowling a wide line.
The hosts had got off to an electric start in the last game with Ruturaj Gaikwad finding some much-needed runs and complementing Ishan Kishan who has made a good case for being India's reserve opener in the long run, including in the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.
The two will be looking to make the most of the remaining two games, followed by a couple in Ireland, before the regular openers walk back into the playing eleven.
Shreyas Iyer, who has been tested with the short ball regularly in the series, has not yet made a significant contribution at number three and will be itching to change that on Friday.
The home side struggled in the middle overs in Vizag after a perfect start before Hardik Pandya came to the team's rescue and took the score close to 180.
Pant's men will be aiming to rectify that here and ensure the momentum is not lost through the innings. India rely on their spinners in the middle overs and the biggest positive out of the last game was the performance of Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel.
While Axar kept it tidy, Chahal bore the fruits of bowling slower through the air. The turn and dip that deserted him in the earlier games was back and he looked at his threatening best.
In the pace department, the seasoned Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been remarkably consistent.
Avesh Khan has not gone for a lot of runs but is yet to take a wicket in the series while Harshal Patel, who relies on his variations to be effective, found his rhythm in Vizag and ended up with a four-wicket haul.
The South Africans, on the other hand, would back themselves to win the next game and seal the series.
They currently lead 2-1.
The visitors will be hoping their star batter Quinton de Kock recovers fully from a wrist injury and rejoins skipper Temba Bavuma at the top.
After outplaying India in the first two games, the South Africans were at the receiving end in the third match, eventually losing by a massive 48-run margin.
Their batting failed miserably after a mixed performance with the ball.
Their spinners Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj have leaked more than 10 runs an over with the Indians purposely going on the offensive against them.
Pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada has been their most impressive bowler and the hosts have given him due respect by not taking many chances against him.
Although South Africa's ground fielding has been alright, catching has left a lot to be desired. And India will aim to script a victory to keep the series alive.