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India’s predicted playing XI for the first T20I against South Africa in Delhi

Team India will take on South Africa in a five-game T20I series this month. The first game will happen in Delhi on 9th June. Since these games are leading up to the mega-event later this year, India will be keen to put on a few wins. On that note, in this article, we take a look at India’s predicted playing XI for the first T20I against South Africa.

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Openers: KL Rahul (C) and Ishan Kishan

KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan will be the openers in India’s predicted playing XI for the first T20I against South Africa. Before IPL 2022, Ishan Kishan has been used as the opener in the absence of the regulars. Hence, it is likely that Rahul Dravid will continue with the same strategy. KL Rahul will lead India in these five encounters and therefore, he will be part of all the matches.

Middle-Order: Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (WK), and Dinesh Karthik 

At No.3, Shreyas Iyer will operate for Team India. The Mumbai batter was in fine form in the recent T20I tournaments. He has even conceded that his best position in the batting line-up is at No.3. Hence, Iyer will get five more chances in this series.

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India will be spoilt for choices when it comes to the player behind the stumps. However, considering Rishabh Pant already has a confirmed spot across all formats, he will be preferred with the gloves. Nevertheless, thanks to his form in IPL 2022, Dinesh Karthik is likely to feature as the “finisher”.

All-Rounders: Hardik Pandya and Axar Patel

Hardik Pandya and Axar Patel will be the all-rounders in India’s predicted playing XI for the first T20I against South Africa. It will be interesting to see how Hardik Pandya will play with the blue jersey. For Gujarat Titans, he put more value on his wicket but for India, he could have to be more expressive. Also, his bowling will be keenly followed by the management. In Ravindra Jadeja’s absence, Axar Patel is the next in line. Therefore, he will occupy the spot as the spin-bowling all-rounder.

Bowlers: Harshal Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan and Yuzvendra Chahal

Harshal Patel has left many impressed with his consistency at the death. While he will play at No.8, Bhuvi will lead the pace attack. The Uttar Pradesh pacer’s form has improved in recent months and with the other seniors rested, Bhuvi will have to take more responsibility.

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India has an array of options for the third seamer. However, Avesh Khan has been with the squad for a while now and hence, the management is likely to persist with him. Avesh anyways offers better new-ball value than Umran Malik and Arshdeep Singh at the moment. As for the spin department, Yuzvendra Chahal will lead it. Kuldeep Yadav might also come in if the pitch assists spin.

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Nesara V Jagannatha

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