Young talent in focus as India take on SA in second T20

Young talent in focus as India take on SA in second T20

MOHALI: After the first Twenty20 International ended in a washout, India would be itching to get on to the field against a new-look South Africa for their first home fixture since March 2019.

The two sides meet for the second game of the three-match series at Punjab Cricket Association stadium on Wednesday (today).

In an attempt to groom new talent before next year’s ICC T20 World Cup, India have persisted with Rahul and Deepak Chahar, Washington Sundar and Krunal Pandya for the series against South Africa.

While Hardik Pandya has made a return after being rested for the West Indies tour, regulars such as Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and MS Dhoni are not a part of the 15-man set-up.

Rishabh Pant will be India’s wicket-keeper batsman once again, and as pointed out by his head coach and captain, will be expected to make better decisions at the crease. India’s wrist-spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have been left out to strengthen the lower-order batting.

South Africa will hope to start their new era with a win against a strong Indian unit. With wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock in charge, Anrich Nortje, Temba Bavuma, Junior Dala, Beuran Hendricks and Jon-Jon Smuts, who were not a part of the 2019 World Cup, have all been included with an eye on testing their credentials.

Forties from Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina, followed by two scalps from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, helped India claim a seven-run victory in Cape Town in February 2018. JP Duminy made a fighting 55 for the hosts, while Christiaan Jonker made an impressive debut with a 24-ball 49.

The last time the teams met in any international fixture was at the ICC 2019 World Cup, when South Africa were kept to 227-9. India chased it down with six wickets to spare, courtesy Rohit Sharma’s 122*. The weather forecast for Mohali is more positive than it was for Dharamsala, and clear skies are expected.

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