Who will make way for Shubman Gill? India's likely XI for 1st T20I vs SA | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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India's likely XI for 1st T20I vs SA: Ravindra Jadeja returns to assist Suryakumar; who will make way for Shubman Gill?

By, New Delhi
Dec 10, 2023 09:08 AM IST

Ravindra Jadeja has returned to assist Suryakumar Yadav in the South Africa series. Who will make way for Shubman Gill in the 1st T20I?

Leading the Hardik Pandya-less in South Africa, skipper Suryakumar Yadav admitted that the series win over Australia proved to be a big boost for the Men In Blue ahead for their tour to the rainbow nation. The India skipper said that the heart-breaking defeat to Australia in the World Cup final was indeed a disappointment for a side that recorded a perfect ten in the lead-up to the summit clash of the ICC event in India. Moving on from another ICC heartbreak, India have touched down in the rainbow nation for a multi-format series against hosts South Africa.

India's Shubman Gill (2R) gets retired hurt during a white-ball match(AFP)
India's Shubman Gill (2R) gets retired hurt during a white-ball match(AFP)

Entering the T20 World Cup year without seasoned campaigners Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah, India are also without its skipper Rohit Sharma for the white-ball leg of the South Africa tour. However, the visitors are blessed with matchwinners Rinku Singh, and Tilak Varma, along with familiar faces - Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan and skipper Suryakumar. The three-match series also features pacer Arshdeep Singh, whose final-over heroics paved the way for India to an impressive win in its last T20I outing against Australia.

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'India have combination in mind'

Hosts South Africa will meet Team India in the T20I series on Sunday at the Kingsmead in Durban. Out of the last 19 T20Is at the venue, the team batting first has emerged victorious in eight and the chasing side has sealed the same number of wins. Two games have been washed out while India and Pakistan famously played a drawn game at Kingsmead back in the 2007 T20 World Cup. Speaking at the pre-match press conference, skipper Suryakumar made it clear that India 'have the combination in mind'.

Kishan to return

The 32-year-old also stated that India have 'enough sixth bowler options in this side to bank upon'. In the previous encounter, India rested Ishan Kishan, who is expected to feature and keep wickets against South Africa on Sunday. Either Ruturaj Gaikwad or Yashasvi Jaiswal will be making way for all-format opener Shubman Gill. Spearheading the Suryakumar-starrer middle-order will be Shreyas Iyer, who was pivotal for India in its last T20I encounter.

Rinku as finisher

Rinku Singh is set to play the finisher role for India while vice-captain Ravindra Jadeja is the only all-rounder in its playing XI. There will also be a toss-up between top-ranked T20I bowler Ravi Bishnoi and spin wizard Kuldeep Yadav. Bishnoi was the Player of the Series against Australia in India. Speedster Mohammed Siraj and pacer Arshdeep can enjoy the company of either Deepak Chahar or Mukesh Kumar in the series opener against South Africa.

India's likely XI for 1st T20I vs South Africa:

Openers: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill/Ruturaj Gaikwad.

Middle-order: Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav (capt), Rinku Singh, Ishan Kishan (wk).

All-rounder: Ravindra Jadeja.

Bowlers: Deepak Chahar, Kuldeep Yadav/Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Siraj, Arshdeep Singh/Mukesh Kumar.

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