AB de Villiers © Getty Images
AB de Villiers © Getty Images

Johannesburg:  South Africa won the toss and decided to bowl in the first Twenty20 international against India at the Wanderers Stadium on Sunday. South Africa were without batsman AB de Villiers, who was ruled out of the series after suffering a blow to his left knee ahead of the sixth one-day international in Centurion on Friday.

Team manager and doctor Mohammed Moosajee said that although De Villiers was passed fit, the injury worsened during the match. India also suffered an injury blow, with left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav missing because of a thumb problem suffered in Centurion when India completed a 5-1 series win.

Left-handed batsman Suresh Raina was included in the Indian team for his first international match since February 2017. South African captain JP Duminy said: “It was a dismal ODI series for us but it’s a new series, new opportunities.” Only four of the South African team that played in Centurion remained for the first T20 match. Fast bowler Junior Dala won his international cap.

By contrast, India retained the bulk of their one-day international team, with only Raina, Manish Pandey and Jaydev Undakat making their first appearances of the tour. Indian captain Virat Kohli said India wanted to continue winning but warned: “The intensity needs to be even higher in a T20 game. You don’t have much room to relax.”