November 30, 2022

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IND vs SA T20 1: A warm-up before the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup

Team India is ready for their last assignment before they are going to Australia for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022. After concluding the T20I series against Australia, team India now heads to Thiruvananthapuram for the 1st T20 match of the 3-match T20 series against South Africa.

With 3 weeks remaining, India’s preparations for the World Cup are nearing their conclusion. Both India and South Africa will square off in the first of those games at the Green Field Stadium on Wednesday, 28th September.

Men in Blue are fully confident for the T20 series after the series victory against Australia. The series victory on Sunday was an important one for India after their early exit from the Asia Cup earlier this month. Now the victory against Australia gave them a much-needed filling to go for the World Cup.

It looks like they have finally figured out their best top order before the World Cup. Former captain Virat Kohli seems to be in full form as he was blazing throughout the recent matches. With the World Cup around the corner, an experienced star player like him will be an asset on the Indian side.

Skipper Rohit Sharma was not completely on track throughout the Asia Cup and Australia series. But his six-hitting prowess to level the series in the 2nd match against Australia was a crucial one. If he continues leading the team like that, it will be an advantage for the series.

KL Rahul’s return after the injury has not registered an impact on team India. But this will be his final chance to explore more in the ground before the World Cup. Rohit and Rahul’s tendency to be over-aggressive earlier in the game have lost them early wickets. If they concentrate more on the shot selection, it will be an advantage for the batting line-up.

Suryakumar Yadav is India’s trump card for the series with his astonishing performance throughout the year in the short format. He will surely be the best player to represent India in the World Cup.

India vs South Africa T20 match, June 2022
India vs South Africa T20 match, June 2022 (credits: BCCI)

But there arouse some questions about the middle-order batters, especially the finisher Dinesh Karthik. But Karthik showed yet again why he is India’s designated finisher and managed to shut the mouth of the haters.

All-rounder Deepak Hooda is on side-lines due to a back injury and Shreyas Iyer is on the team instead of him. The power-packed all-rounder Hardik Pandya rested on this series and Rishabh Pant may replace him in Playing IX.

Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik may get more chances with the bat this time before they head to the World Cup. So, we can expect a shuffle in the batting order.

With the batting looks settles, Bowling is under scrutiny this time. Mohammad Shami is still recovering from Covid 19 and he will not be present in the series. Jasprit Bumrah is back from his injury and had had an impact in the 2 matches played against Australia. But he was leaking runs in the death overs at Hyderabad. This series may give the pacer a chance to get his mojo back.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s form will be a major concern for captain Rohit.  He may miss the series against South Africa and this should give Arshdeep Singh another opportunity to express himself.

It was Axar Patel’s brilliance with the ball that gave India a breakthrough in the Australia series. With Chahal’s indifferent form, Aswin may play the game.

Temba Bavuma-led South Africa themselves are in red-hot form in the T20 format recently. The Proteas will also be hoping to sharpen their skill and abilities before the big event. Rassie van der Dussen will miss this series due to a finger injury.

Their batting attack is very strong with Aiden Markram, Reeza Hendricks, Quinton De Kock, and David Miller. The pacing attack will be led by Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, and Lungi Ngidi.

This is the second time this year that South Africa is taking on India in the T20 format. Last time, they played a 5-match series that ended in a tie with 2-2 as the final match was abandoned due to rain. Will India take on an early lead in the series or the Proteas put India on the back foot? Let’s wait and watch it today at 7 pm.  

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