India and South Africa lock horns in the first of the three matches at Thiruvananthapuram today. Given the track record of the two teams in T20Is in the last 12 months, the upcoming series promises to be a thrilling affair.
India will look to carry the momentum of the 2-1 series win over Australia when they take on South Africa in the first of the three matches on Wednesday at Thiruvananthapuram.
Recommended ArticlesView All
Maruti Suzuki defends offering discounts after Nomura calls it a 'sign of weakness'
IST3 Min(s) Read
India's cotton exports to shrink close to 30 percent in FY23
IST3 Min(s) Read
This is the second time the two teams are locking horns in a T20I bilateral series in India. Earlier this year, South Africa had toured India for a five-match T20I series just after the 2022 season of the IPL. The series ended with honours even as the final match was washed out.
The upcoming three matches are crucial for India and South Africa teams as they are the final sets of games for both teams before they launch their campaign at ICC T20 World Cup in Australia. With the squads for the World Cup already announced, the series is all about keeping up with the winning ways to boast the morale of the squad ahead of the showpiece event.
South Africa have got a shot in the arm as regular captain Temba Bavuma returns to the helm of affairs after an injury layoff. It was here in India during South Africa's previous tour that Bavuma injured his arm. Since then Bavuma has missed South Africa's series wins over England and Ireland. With Bavuma returning non-regular opener Reza Hendricks, might either be pushed lower down the order or made to warm the bench. The Proteas may not make any other changes in the playing XI that featured against Ireland.
Indian squad sees the return of left-arm fast bowler Arshdeep Singh. The young paceman did not feature in the three-match series against Australia. Considering India's struggles with death bowling in the recent past, Arshdeep should find his way back into the team. The series would have been a good opportunity to test fast bowler Mohammed Shami before the World Cup, but it is now a missed opportunity. Shami was included as a backup player for India's squad for the World Cup earlier this month, but he suffered from COVID-19 ahead of the series against Australia. He missed all three matches against the reigning World Champions and has reportedly not travelled with the team to Thiruvananthapuram as well. Also missing in action at Thiruvananthapuram will be all-rounder Deepak Hooda who has picked up a back injury. Pacer Umesh Yadav and batsman Shreyas Iyer have been announced as the stand-by players.
Given the two teams' track record in T20I in the past 12 months, the series promises to be a closely fought one.
Pitch and weather conditions
Given how rarely cricket comes to this corner of India, expect a freshly laid pitch for this match.
The night temperature will be around 24°C. According to Accuweather, the night is likely to become cloudy with a shower in places late.
India possible XI
Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Axar Patel, Harshal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Arshdeep Singh
South Africa possible XI
Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Aiden Markram/Rilee Rossouw, Temba Bavuma, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Wayne Parnell, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Keshav Maharaj, Anrich Nortje
South Africa: 3.00
Where to watch
The match will be broadcast live on the Starsports network. Online viewers can catch the action via the Disney+Hotstar app. The match begins at 7.30 PM IST.