Grooming youngsters key as India kick-start T20 World Cup preparations against South Africa
South Africa are the only team yet to lose to Kohli and Co in India in the T20I format.
South Africa are the only team yet to lose to Kohli and Co in India in the T20I format. @ AFP
The countdown to the 2020 T20 World Cup begins here. After completing a series whitewash in the West Indies, India begin their long home 2019-20 season when the first of the three-match Twenty20 Internationals against South Africa gets underway at Dharamsala on Sunday (September 15).
In fact, preparations for the ICC event in Australia next year already began in the Caribbean, but at home, grooming youngsters will be key. India have left out Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal for a second successive T20I assignment which offers more time to the likes of Rahul Chahar and Washington Sundar to enhance their reputation. Allrounders Ravindra Jadeja and Krunal Pandya are around too and they both possess the ability to chip in with valuable runs lower down which also may enhance their stakes in the pecking order.
In the pace department, Deepak Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed and Navdeep Saini, all of who impressed on the recent tour of West Indies, will be given more time to perform and possibly battle for the last pacer's slot once Bumrah returns.
India's batting will see the reunion of openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, who had a poor tour of West Indies, scoring 1 (7), 23 (16) and 3 (5) in three T20I innings. India will hope Dhawan bounces back at home.
South Africa are in a stage of transition after a disastrous outing at the World Cup. In the absence of regular captain Faf du Plessis, who has been rested for the series, Quinton de Kock, who will be leading the side, will face quite a challenge to martial his young brigade, but the tourists, clearly the underdogs, can take heart from the fact that they are the only team yet to lose to Kohli and Co in India in the T20I format.
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The last time South Africa toured India for a T20I series, they prevailed 2-0. Only de Kock, David Miller and Kagiso Rabada have returned from that side, which gives a huge opportunity for youngsters like allrounder Bjorn Fortuin, pacer Junior Dala and the lone spinner in Tabraiz Shamsi to shine.
With both sides still nascent in their experimentation stage, a cracker of a contest looks to be played out at the picturesque venue in Dharamsala.
What: India vs South Africa 2019, 1st T20I
When: September 15, Sunday
Where: HPCA Stadium, Dharamsala
Time: 7 pm IST
Weather: Scattered thunderstorms with a maximum high of 24 degrees Celsius
On TV: Star Sports Network (in India)
LIVE streaming: Hotstar
You can also follow LIVE streaming of the match on CricketCountry (India vs South Africa, 1st T20I: Scorecard)
Rohit and Dhawan are set to open the batting for India. Captain Virat Kohli will occupy his comfortable No. 3 position. However, it's left to be seen if India go ahead with KL Rahul, who was dropped from the Test squad, at No. 4, or leave him out and include the in-form Shreyas Iyer and Manish Pandey, who fared poorly in the T20Is versus West Indies. Hardik Pandya will make an easy return to the side.
Probable XI: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (captain), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini.
It will be a new look South Africa side taking to the field. Rassie van der Dussen will partner his captain to open the innings while Kagiso Rabada will lead the pace attack with Dala and Anrich Nortje giving him company. Tabraiz Shamsi is expected to be the lone spinner in the side. There is also the left-arm pace option of Beuran Hendricks who is likely to be drafted into the XI considering his abilities at the death.
Probable XI: Quinton de Kock (captain and wk), Rassie van der Dussen, George Linde, Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, David Miller, Anrich Nortje/Beuran Hendricks, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Junior Dala, Tabraiz Shamsi.
No of matches played: 13
India won: 8
South Africa won: 5
84 -- Rohit needs 84 runs to surpass Martin Guptill (424) and become the leading run scorer against SA in T20Is.
100 -- Rassie van der Dussen will play his 100th T20 match if he features against India in the 1st T20I.
64 -- De Kock needs 64 runs to complete 5000 T20 runs. He needs 113 runs to complete 1000 runs in T20Is.