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IND v SA: India eye rare home series win over South Africa in T20Is (preview)

Guwahati, Oct 1 (IANS) With mystery still surrounding the availability of pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah for the Men’s T20 World Cup, India would be looking to put that on the backburner and try to get a rare series win (and also the first time) over South Africa at home when the second T20I happens at Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati on Sunday.

The ongoing series against South Africa was supposed to fine-tune India’s plans for the T20 World Cup. But with uncertainty over Bumrah’s fitness, especially after Mohammed Siraj was called over as his replacement for the remainder of T20Is against the Proteas, there are more worries on what will India’s ideal pace combination be.

With Mohammed Shami on path to recovery after testing positive for Covid-19, Siraj and Umesh Yadav are in the squad against South Africa though the duo are far off from coming into World Cup scheme of things. In a scenario like this, the performances of Deepak Chahar and Arshdeep Singh must have soothed some tension in the Indian camp on pace bowling front.

Though India are rarely to be greeted by a green top in Australia during the World Cup, Chahar and Arshdeep were impressive in their dismantling of South Africa with the new ball, reducing the side to 9/5 inside three overs and deciding the result of the game there itself. Harshal Patel also had some wickets against his name and India will be hoping he gets more scalps in coming matches.

With Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin at their economical best, India would also want for their top four to put in a collective performance ahead of departure for the World Cup. What India would be seeking is more batting chances for Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant, someone who hasn’t got any batting chance at all since Asia Cup in the UAE.

South Africa, on the other hand, would be itching to bounce back after the top-order meltdown and bowlers being unable to take out half-centurions KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav after dismissing Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli cheaply. The Proteas would be aiming to keep their undefeated record in India intact, but they will be requiring collective performances from all departments to avoid conceding the series to India.

Squads

India: Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Arshdeep Singh, Harshal Patel, Deepak Chahar, Umesh Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Shahbaz Ahmed and Mohammad Siraj.

South Africa: Temba Bavuma (Captain), Quinton de Kock (wicket-keeper), Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Tabraiz Shamsi and Tristan Stubbs.

–IANS

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