India vs South Africa 1st T20I: Match prediction and likely playing XIs of both teams

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Updated: Jun 09, 2022, 02:49 PM(IST)

India vs South Africa 1st T20I: Match prediction and likely playing XIs Photograph:( AFP )

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Ahead of the India-South Africa T20Is, here's the match prediction and playing XIs for both sides for the series opener in New Delhi:

India and South Africa will lock horns with each other in what is expected to be a mouth-watering five-match T20I series with the opening game to be played on Thursday evening (June 09). While Temba Bavuma-led Proteas are a strong squad, India have been hit with several injury concerns after their famed trio -- regular captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah -- were rested.

Ahead of the first T20I, news broke out from the Indian camp that regular vice-captain and stand-in skipper KL Rahul has been injured, along with wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav. Hence, Rishabh Pant is all set to don the captain's hat for the first time ever for Team India whereas the 28-year-old IPL-winning skipper Hardik Pandya will be his deputy for the series. Thus, India have lots riding on them to beat Proteas and also keep their unbeaten streak alive in the shortest format (currently at 12). If India win the series opener, they will create a world record of winning the most consecutive T20Is. 

Match prediction for India vs SA 1st T20I: The sweltering heat of a typical June afternoon is set to trouble players from both sides. While the majority of them have played IPL 2022, the heat and humidity has just worsened in the national capital. Dew is, however, expected in the evening game and, hence, both sides' captains will prefer batting second, which has become a trend in the shortest format.

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For India, they will have some issues finalising their playing XI after injuries to Rahul and Kuldeep. Nonetheless, they still have a lot of options, especially in bowling, but it will be interesting to see the all-rounders and bowlers who get the nod. In batting, the onus will lie on Ishan Kishan-Ruturaj Gaikwad, Pant, in-form finishers Hardik and Dinesh Karthik (if he plays). For SA, they have their main players but it remains to be seen how they adapt to the conditions and the surface in Delhi.

Possible India XI: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (c & wk), Hardik Pandya (vc), Dinesh Karthik/Deepak Hooda, Axar Patel, Bhuvnenshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Yuzvendra Chahal

Possible SA XI: Temba Bavuma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Reeza Hendricks, Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj, Anrich Nortje, Tabraiz Shamsi.

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