- India will take final decision on Playing XI on Wednesday, batting coach Vikram Rathour confirmed
- Arshdeep Singh is expected to start while Rishabh Pant could yet again miss out
- Deepak Chahar could replace Hardik Pandya as like-to-like replacement
With less than 24 hours to go Team India will once again take guards, this time against South Africa for the three-match T20I series having beaten Australia 2-1 on Sunday. With dust yet to settle on the famous win in Hyderabad, the South Coast will once again be India's home for the curtain-raiser encounter on Wednesday as Temba Bavuma's Proteas army marches on.
Ahead of the clash, the likes of Arshdeep Singh and Risabh Pant will have their hearts in their mouth over a place in the Playing XI, with the former returning after resting against the Aussies. Pant on the flip side will likely warm the Indian bench as Dinesh Karthik is once again expected to get the nod.
The Indian batting coach Vikram Rathour on Tuesday evening in his press conference asserted that the management will choose the Playing XI on Wednesday.
"We are working on that area of getting better at defending targets. But to be fair to our bowlers, toss plays a vital role and every time we have not been able to defend are the places where there has been dew, so it gets easier to chase," Rathour said on the eve of the first T20I against South Africa here on Wednesday.
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Is Arshdeep the missing piece in the puzzle?
As things stand, the Indian bowlers struggled a lot against the Australian batters in the death overs. The likes of Bhvuneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah were hammered for runs and keeping that in mind the addition of Arshdeep Singh comes as a major boost. He has represented India in 11 T20I matches and scalped 14 wickets.
Pant to warm the bench again?
It is widely expected that Team India won't be making any changes to the batting unit while Hardik Pandya goes missing. Deepak Chahar should replace Pandya, but Rishabh Pant could yet hope for a miracle and get into playing XI in place of Pandya.
With the rest of the batting unit to remain the same, with KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Suryakumar Yadav being untouchable, Team India will try to start on a high in Wednesday's encounter.
Shreyas Iyer is expcted to join the Indian squad on Tuesday evening while Shahbaz Ahmed and Arshdeep Singh are already with Team India having joined on Tuesday.
India's Probable Playing XI vs South Africa:
KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma (c), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Chahar, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Axar Patel, Harshal Patel, Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal