New Delhi: India are set to take on South Africa in a five-match T20I series starting on June 9, 2022. With the BCCI selection committee likely to meet on Sunday, May 22, 2022, to select the squad for the upcoming series against the Proteas along with India’s tour of Ireland and England, the performances of the players in the ongoing IPL 2022 might be one of the benchmarks to get a look in, at least in the shorter format of the game.

With Suryakumar Yadav and Deepak Chahar nursing injuries and not available for selection, the upcoming T20I series against South Africa and Ireland will be important to check the strength of India’s T20I team, keeping in mind the T20 World Cup 2022 scheduled to be held in October in Australia this year.

Here’s a look at players who might be in contention to get selected for India’s T20I squad vs South Africa:

  1. Arshdeep Singh: Numbers will say that he’s picked only ten wickets in 13 matches at an economy rate of 7.82. But Arshdeep has been a standout for Punjab Kings in the death overs during IPL 2022, with his economy rate of 7.31 the best among all bowlers in this phase. With a calm head on his shoulders, ability to soak pressure of final five overs and nail his yorkers with precision, Arshdeep can find his name in the squad for series against South Africa on the back of his astute death bowling skills.
  2. Tilak Varma: In a season where Mumbai Indians have been forgettable with their performances, young Varma has been a bright spot for them. Varma, who played for India in 2020 U19 World Cup, came into the tournament on the back of good performances in domestic cricket for Hyderabad. The teenager justified his Mumbai selection with a variety of eye-catchy shots and impressive temperament to amass 376 runs in 13 innings at an average of 37.60 and strike-rate of 131.46. With Rohit Sharma earmarking him to be an all-format player in the future for India, it won’t be a surprise if Varma’s name is in the squad for the South Africa series.
  3. Rahul Tripathi: Since his entry into IPL fold in 2017, Tripathi has been a consistent name in the tournament with his hard-hitting batting skills. For Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2022, Tripathi has owned the number three spot in Hyderabad’s line-up, amassing 393 runs at an average of 39.30 and strike-rate of 161.72, including three half-centuries, one of which was an enthralling 44-ball 76 against Mumbai Indians. With former India head coach Ravi Shastri advocating for him to be a back-up option for Suryakumar Yadav, Tripathi may get a look-in for the South Africa series if Yadav is still unavailable due to left forearm muscle injury.
  4. Umran Malik: If there has been one person who has made watching Sunrisers Hyderabad’s matches exciting in IPL 2022, it has been Jammu’s tearaway pacer Umran Malik. In his first full season of IPL, Malik has kept the speed gun extremely busy with his raw pace rattling the batters, clocking speeds above 150kmph consistently while picking 21 wickets, mainly in the middle overs, at an average of 20 and economy rate of 8.93. With many experts calling for him to be fast-tracked into the Indian team, one shouldn’t be taken aback if he gets a call-up for the South Africa series.
  5. Mohsin Khan: Since his IPL debut in late April during the 2022 season, Mohsin has impressed cricket watchers with his economical spells, tight lengths just outside the off-stump and ability to outfox the batters, thereby taking wickets consistently for Lucknow Super Giants. In eight matches, Mohsin has picked 10 at an average of 15.20 and economy rate of just 6.08, bowling in all phases of the game, something which Indian selectors will be looking at carefully.
  6. Dinesh Karthik: Bringing himself back in the reckoning has been Dinesh Karthik, whose finishing exploits for Royal Challengers Bangalore have reignited hopes for another comeback into the India T20I side. Whenever Bangalore have been in trouble during IPL 2022, Karthik has bailed them out of trouble with his playlist of finishing blitz. With 285 runs in 13 innings at an average of 57.00 and high strike-rate of 192.56, Karthik might be writing his way into another India recall, something which he has reiterated in the tournament.

(With IANS Inputs)