India’s Focus In The T20I Series: India will be hosting South Africa for a 5-match T20I series. It will act as a dress rehearsal leading up to the T20 World Cup. India is without many of its frontline players in this series. KL Rahul was expected to lead the side in Rohit Sharma’s absence. But he too suffered an injury just a day before the series. Rishabh Pant will be leading the side for the first time. Hardik Pandya will be his deputy.
We Look At India’s Focal Points For This Series:
#1 A new-look top order
India’s first-choice top three in fact even the top 4 batsmen are missing this series. Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have opted to rest. KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav are nursing injuries. This leaves the top-order with a completely new look. It is almost certain that Ishan Kishan will partner with Ruturaj Gaikwad at the top. Both these youngsters haven’t had the best of the IPL this year. Hence it will be interesting to see how they function for the men in blue.
#2 The absolute greenhorns
India will get to have a look at two of the most promising newcomers on the circuit. Arshdeep Singh and Umran Malik might stand a chance to make their national debut in this series. These youngsters have taken different yet similar paths to reach where they are today currently. Arshdeep Singh has been the standout death bowler for the past couple of seasons in the IPL. His left-arm angle provides a new dimension to the Indian attack.
Umran Malik on the other hand has broken the door for selection through his sheer pace. His aggressive pace bowling in the middle overs is a breath of fresh air. India will be keeping a close eye on his progress. He can be quite a handful on the fast bouncy pitches of Australia where the world cup is set to happen.
#3 The untested leadership group
KL Rahul’s absence opens up not just a slot in the top-order but also brings in a new leader. Rishabh Pant will be the captain of the side. Pant didn’t have the best of the seasons captaining DC this season. It was arguably his mistakes on the field that cost DC a spot in the playoffs. There will be a lot riding on him in this series as captain. The shadow of IPL winning captain, Hardik Pandya will also loom large over Pant.
The GT skipper led his side to a title win in its first-ever season. Pandya is touted to be the next skipper of the limited-overs side in the near future. Add to this Shreyas Iyer in the mix and this young but exciting leadership group could show the way forward.