New Delhi: South Africa middle-order batter Aiden Markram has tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the first T20I against India in Delhi. South Africa captain Temba Bavuma, during the toss, confirmed the news of Aiden Markram testing positive for COVID-19. South Africa brought in Tristan Stubbs in place of Markram in the team. “Aiden was not available for selection as he tested positive for Covid, Stubbs comes in and it is a debut for him,” said Bavuma. The Proteas skipper called the coin right and opted to bowl at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi.
For India, Rishabh Pant came in for the toss as KL Rahul, who was set to lead India in the series, was ruled out due to injury ahead of the series opener. Talking about India’s playing XI, Ruturaj Gaikwad was selected to open alongside Ishan Kishan. Dinesh Karthik also made his return to the Indian side and was preferred over Deepak Hooda. Harshal Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Avesh Khan will lead the Indian pace attack, while Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel are the two spinners.
The match is very important for team India as they are on the brink of a massive milestone. The Men in Blue are on a 12-match winning streak and a win in the first T20I will take them to 13 consecutive T20I wins, the most by any team.
Meanwhile, Pant was delighted to make his India captaincy debut in Delhi. “It is one of the proudest moment in my cricketing career so far. Because a Delhi boy getting that (captaincy) honour at Delhi is a huge thing for me. Thanks to everyone for giving me this opportunity. We know our XI but at the same time we are giving different roles to players and see how they cope with that going forward.”