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Monday, Oct 14, 2019

India vs South Africa: India Predicted XI for 1st T20I - Virat Kohli to go with three spinners in Dharamsala

IND vs SA: Here’s India’s predicted XI for the first T20I against South Africa at Dharamsala

cricket Updated: Sep 15, 2019 08:20 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
India vs South Africa: Virat Kohli set to lead a young set at Dharamsala
India vs South Africa: Virat Kohli set to lead a young set at Dharamsala(AP)

India will begin their home season with an eye on next year’s T20 World Cup as the Virat Kohli-led side takes on South Africa in the first of the three T20Is at the picturesque Himachal Pradesh Cricket Stadium in Dharamsala on Sunday. India have a nice mix of youth and experience in their T20 set up but as head coach Ravi Shastri had pointed out that only 4-5 cricketers from the one-day side make their way into the T20 XI as of now. So the biggest challenge for India will be to find the right mix before the World Cup countdown begins. And there cannot be a better way to start things off than a series against South Africa. (India vs South Africa: Full Schedule, squads and latest scored and updates)

India blanked West Indies 3-0 in their last T20 assignment. The squad has remained the same barring the return of all-rounder Hardik Pandya in place of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has been given a break. Here’s India’s Predicted XI for the 1st T20I against South Africa.

Rohit Sharma: Rohit Sharma has a lot in his plate right now. For the first time in his career he has been entrusted to open the innings in all three formats of the game after the selectors named him India’s Test opener for the South Africa series a couple of days ago. But his immediate job will be to do what he has been doing with some great success for India over the last few years, that is to give a strong start in limited overs cricket.

Shikhar Dhawan: The left-hander somehow hasn’t managed to replicate his ODI form into T20s and after the injury he suffered in World Cup, his return to international cricket hasn’t gone according to plans. But there were encouraging sings when he scored back to back half-centuries in against South Africa A but India would want him to score more consistently in the shortest format of the game.

Also Read: 5 South Africa players Team India should watch out for in T20I series

Virat Kohli: The Indian captain has tried his hands at opening the batting in T20s but if the West Indies series is an indicator then Kohli is likely to bat at his preferred No.3 spot even in T20s in the coming matches. With an inexperienced middle order behind him, the onus will be to guide the innings and build a solid platform for the big hitters down the order.

Shreyas Iyer: The Mumbai Right-hander did not feature in the West Indies T20Is as Manish Pandey was picked in the XI ahead of him but the his tremendous show in the ODIs might just open the doors even in T20Is. Iyer, who captains Delhi Capitals in the IPL, has shown that he has the dual game required for T20s.

Rishabh Pant: A lot is expected from Rishabh Pant. With MS Dhoni entering the twilight of his career, Pant is being pitted as the first-choice in all three formats. He blew hot and cold in the last T20I series against West Indies. He was dismissed for a duck and 4 in the first two T20Is but showed his class in the final match by smashing an unbeaten 65. India would be expecting a consistent display from keeper batsman against South Africa.

Also Read: 267/2 in 20 overs: Pollard’s team registers third highest T20 score

Hardik Pandya: The swashbuckling all-rounder will play his first match after the World Cup. Pandya’s inclusion provides a lot of balance to the Indian side. His seam bowling abilities not only allows India to field three spinners in their T20 sides but his prowess with the bat towards the end also gives a chance for the top order to build the innings at their own pace.

Ravindra Jadeja: Jadeja was not even considered for T20Is six months ago but his stunning show in all three departments of the game in the World Cup forced the team management to rethink their decision. He did his job even in the West Indies series is once again expected to play a crucial role against South Africa.

Krunal Pandya: Ideally, Krunal and Jadeja never should be part of the same XI. Both of them possess similar set of qualities. But such is the individual brilliance of both of them they their inclusion strengthens the Indian playing XI in the shortest format.

Washington Sundar: India’s new-ball specialist in T20s. Yes, you read that right. The teenager has fast developed a reputation of being a wicket-taking option for Virat Kohli with the new ball with his off-spinners. He did a fine job against West Indies in tying down the likes of Evin Lewis and Shimron Hetmyer and is expected to the same against the Proteas.

Deepak Chahar: It’s a toss-up between Chahar and Khaleel for the third second seamer but considering the fact that the match will be played in Dharamsala, where the seams and swings a little bit more than more parts of India, Chahar might just get the nod ahead.

Navdeep Saini: The Delhi lad a stunning debut against West Indies, picking up three wickets in the first T20I. His pace and bounce can be handy against the likes of Quinton de Kock and David Miller.

First Published: Sep 14, 2019 12:15 IST

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