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India vs South Africa: ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 final Barbados

The path to the T20 World Cup final has been difficult for varying reasons for India and South Africa, but glory awaits in Saturday’s final in Barbados.

Bridgetown, Barbados – And then there were two.

India and South Africa have made it to the T20 World Cup Final, each side undefeated through the group stage, the Super Eights and the semifinals.

Both teams arrived in Barbados on Thursday night ahead of Saturday’s final, such is the hectic – even shambolic – nature of the congested fixtures. South Africa waited all day at the airport for a delayed charter flight from Trinidad. India flew after their semifinal win over England in Guyana, eventually landing around midnight.

But both teams have been on far longer journeys, and faced greater obstacles than logistics, to reach this point at Kensington Oval.

India have met and overpowered two nemeses. They banished the sour memories of last year’s defeat by Australia in the World Cup Final at Ahmedabad. They blew away England, the defending champions who blasted them out of the 2022 T20 World Cup in the semifinal in Adelaide, with a semifinal reversal in Georgetown.

Nine players from the 2023 one-day squad are in Barbados – and yet, this looks like a wholly different India team. They have no discernible weakness and, while their victories have not all been easy, they have never looked like losing.

In the US and the Caribbean, there has not been the same wall-to-wall television and print coverage of their every movement. The crowds and the travelling press pack have often been sparse compared with those that followed them last year in India. It has perhaps unburdened them to play away from the stifling pressure of expectation in a home World Cup.

A day before the final, there