IND vs SA: With a group of players already left for Australia for the upcoming T20 World Cup, another group of Indian players is all set to lock horns with South Africa in the three-match ODI series. Team India will play the first ODI against the Proteas on Thursday at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Stadium, Lucknow.
In the absence of the big guns, the veteran opener Shikhar Dhawan will lead the team filled with youngsters. The team has a number of fringe players and the series will be a golden opportunity for them to impress the selectors with a couple of solid performances. Meanwhile, we take a look at India’s predicted playing XI for the first IND vs SA ODI.
Openers – Shikhar Dhawan and Shubman Gill
India have a settled left-hand-right-hand opening pair in the form of Shikhar Dhawan and Shubman Gill. The duo also opened for India against Zimbabwe earlier this year. While Shikhar Dhawan will look to get his old groove back, Shubman Gill will be eager to continue the form he showed against Zimbabwe. The young opener emerged as a strong opening contender with a string of impressive performances and he would like to keep up the good work.
Middle Order: Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan (WK), Sanju Samson
Shreyas Iyer is likely to bat at number three as he is a part of the reserves for India’s squad for the T20 World Cup and needs some much-needed game time under his belt. Meanwhile, Ishan Kishan is likely to bat at number four followed by Sanju Samson at number five. The latter is also likely to handle the wicketkeeping duties behind the stumps. While India’s middle-order also looks settled, the main confusion is around number six. India have plenty of options for that number, including Rahul Tripathi, Shahbaz Ahmed, and Rajat Patidar.
All-rounders: Shahbaz Ahmed, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur
Shahbaz Ahmed could get the nod ahead of Tripathi and Patidar courtesy of his ability to bowl left-arm spin. He is also more attacking option lower down the order than the other two. Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur are in contention for the spot in the Indian team for the T20 World Cup and the Indian Team management would like to keep a close tab on their performances.
Bowlers: Kuldeep Yadav, Ravi Bishnoi, and Mohammed Siraj
India are likely to go ahead with two wrist spinners in form of Kuldeep Yadav and Ravi Bishnoi. While Kuldeep Yadav is looking to re-establish himself in the Indian team, Ravi Bishnoi will look to impress in the 50-over format as well. Meanwhile, Mohammed Siraj is likely to lead the Indian pacer attack. The right-handed pacer is another name who could be on the flight to Australia to join Team India and he would like to grab this opportunity with solid performances.