Another day, another bilateral series. But what separates this one from the rest is that this is the last dance before the big prom. This is the last series India will be playing before the World Cup which is about to begin almost three weeks from today. This makes it a very important series as India still look like they have a few wrinkles that need to be ironed out.
And what will help them, even more, is the fact that they are facing a good T20 side who seem to have all of their bases covered.
And what’s even more important is that South Africa is an opponent whom India has not been able to beat in India for the last 3 years in the T20 format. So a win in this series will help India not just in making sure all their bases are covered but also help them carry even more confidence going into the world cup. But a loss in the series might see just the opposite.
However, things might not be as easy as they look from the outside. Hardik Pandya has been rested for this series while Bhuvneshwar Kumar who struggled in the Asia Cup and then in the series against Australia has been rested too. Arshdeep Singh and Deepak Chahar have been given a chance to make their case for the World Cup.
Rishab Pant too will be looking to make a statement that not just his left-handedness and his keeping – his skills & temperament might also be something which India might need in the World Cup. Bumrah and Harshal Patel also looked rusty in the series against Australia. Captain Rohit Sharma has backed his death bowlers and said they just need a little time as coming back from a long injury is never easy.
Virat Kohli seems to be back at his absolute best and that is something that will give team India a lot of confidence. Surya Kumar Yadav has become one beast in this format and his form will be very crucial for team India. Rohit Sharma and K.L Rahul too have looked in good touch even though the scorecard might not portray that.
South Africa on the other hand will be confident coming into this series with a lot of wins under the belt. They seem to have a settled playing XI and even the players not making it to the XI have been in good touch. They can easily opt for the ‘horses for courses’ policy and pick their strongest XI. Reeza Hendricks and Aiden Markram have been in sublime form. Killer Miller will be a huge difference-maker at the death of the innings. An in-form Miller against Bumrah will be a match-up we cannot wait to see.
All in all, we are set for a blinder of a series.
IND vs SA Probable Playing XI
India’s Probable XI: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Axar Patel, Harshal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Arshdeep Singh
South Africa’s Probable XI: Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Aiden Markram/Rilee Rossouw, Temba Bavuma, Heinrich Klaasen/Tristan Stubbs, David Miller, Wayne Parnell, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Keshav Maharaj, Anrich Nortje