India vs South Africa 2019, 1st T20I: India's Predicted Playing 11 and Key Players
The Indian Team will kick off their 2019/20 home season with a 3-match T20I series against South Africa. The Proteas have appointed a new captain in the shortest format of the game as wicket-keeper batsman Quinton de Kock will lead the T20I side in this series. The hosts had announced a full-strength team for this series which will commence from the 15th of September.
Virat Kohli's men had whitewashed the West Indies in a 3-match T20I series last month. The Men in Blue are in great form and will look to repeat the same performance against the South African side.
Here's how the Indian team could line up for the first T20I in Dharamshala.
Openers: Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan
Rohit Sharma played a fine knock of 67 runs for Team India in the 2nd match against West Indies. Though he did not play in the final match, expect him to feature in the playing XI against South Africa. His opening partner, Shikhar Dhawan did not have a great series in the Caribbean but the left-handed batsman is a completely different player when he plays at home.
Middle Order: Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant
Virat Kohli was the team's best batsman in the West Indies series and will look to carry on the same form in this series. The skipper may consider bringing Shreyas Iyer in the team in place of Manish Pandey who failed in all the three matches. Wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant had played a match-winning knock in the final match so, he will once again be a key element of the Indian middle order.
All-rounders: Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja
India's premier fast-bowling all-rounder Hardik Pandya will return to the squad after recovering from his injury. Since the opening game is in Dharamshala, Virat will expect a good spell from the Baroda all-rounder. Hardik's brother, Krunal Pandya had done well for the side in the previous series, due to which he will most likely feature in the playing XI. Also, Ravindra Jadeja will love to make his presence felt with his economical overs and exceptional fielding skills.
Bowlers: Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar and Navdeep Saini
The match is in the HPCA Stadium of Dharamshala which means that the fast bowlers will get some assistance from the pitch and, the team management must give a chance to all the three young pacers of the squad. Navdeep Saini and Deepak Chahar are in tremendous form while Khaleel Ahmed will try to cement his spot in the team with a match-winning performance.
With 106 runs in 3 matches, Virat Kohli had led his team from the front in the T20I series against West Indies. The right-handed batsman will once again look to dominate proceedings when he locks horns with Kagiso Rabada and co.
All-rounder Hardik Pandya will play his first international match after the World Cup semifinal. He will look to get back to his best and emerge as the game-changer for his team.
India's predicted playing 11
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini.