IND Vs SA: Rain Threat Looms Over 1st T20 As India Take On SA

RepublicWorld

RepublicWorld

Author 2019-09-15 15:28:00

img

India is all set to test their bench strength as they take on South Africa in the first T20 at Dharamsala on Sunday. The team's selectors, skipper, and coach have already underlined that the grooming of youngsters in the team and preparation for the World T20 in 2020 in Australia would be the main aim for the Men in Blue. Many young faces have been included in the T20 squad including the likes of Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Washington Sundar, and Navdeep Saini. The current selection committee headed by MSK Prasad "wants to look ahead" and sources in the know of things said that the 38-year-old World Cup-winning former skipper MS Dhoni is "not in their scheme of things" while also making it clear that youngster Rishabh Pant will be the first choice wicketkeeper for the team across all three formats.

Preparation for World T20 starts here

Virat Kohli will be venturing into the unknown with a clean slate, where a few seasoned hands will be backing a group of immensely talented youngsters, in his quest for World T20 title which begins with a three-match bilateral series against South Africa here on Sunday. The 3-0 series win against the West Indies could be called a precursor as it was just after enduring a disappointing end to their ODI World Cup campaign. The real battle begins now with this series against Quinton de Kocks and Kagiso Rabadas, who are also in the midst of a tough transition phase. A good spell from Rabada or a cameo from David Miller could pose a challenge for the Indians, while some of the others like Test specialist Temba Bavuma or Anrich Nortje will like to prove their credentials in absence of Faf du Plessis or Hashim Amla. There will be around 20 odd matches for captain Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri to build a near-perfect combination going into the World T20 in Australia in October next year. There are many questions that the team management will have to answer in the next 13 months during which IPL will also be held.

Weather forecast for the match

Even as skipper Virat Kohli walked on to the pitch on Saturday, he was seen walking with an umbrella. Further, the skipper also revealed that the Indian team was practising indoors because of the poor weather conditions. With scattered rains predicted through the day, it will be hard to determine whether there would be clear skies during the play. The maximum temperature is 27 degrees Celcius while the minimum degree is forecast to be at 17 degrees Celcius. A passing shower is expected to hit the city in the afternoon apart from which scattered thunderstorms are also predicted. India will hope to get a complete game against the Proteas, who are also rearing to go under their new captain Quinton de Kock.

More slots up for grabs in the Indian squad

Save Kohli, his deputy Rohit Sharma, all-rounder Hardik Pandya and premier pacer Jasprit Bumrah (rested for this series), at least seven slots in playing XI and four more in the 15-member squad are up for grabs, with some bold steps on cards. Manish Pandey has been in and around for years now and despite the kind of quality he possesses, the Karnataka batsman has not inspired the highest confidence in the chances he got. So will it be Pandey at No 4 or Delhi Capitals captain Shreyas Iyer, who was in fine form during the Windies one-dayers? The other fascinating aspect will be the future of spin twins Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, at least in the shortest version. Rajasthan leg-spinner Rahul Chahar is a young talent and is being billed as one for the future. And with all-rounder Krunal Pandya also shaping up well and Ravindra Jadeja's experience set to come in handy, where does it leave the much in demand wrist spin duo, who had replaced Ravichandran Ashwin and Jadeja (for the better part) post-2017 Champions Trophy.

India's inexperienced pace trio

Not to forget, India has a backup finger spinner in young Washington Sundar, who in his U-19 days was a hard-hitting top-order batsman. So next question is where does it leave Kuldeep and Chahal in T20 scheme of things? Last but not least is the pace department where Bumrah is the only certainty. Deepak Chahar, who many in Indian cricket term as 'Poor Man's Praveen Kumar' for the movement he generates during the first spell, is an inspired investment for shortest version. And then there is Navdeep Saini with raw pace and Khaleel Ahmed bringing in the left-arm variety but known to leak runs. Will they be persisted within the long run? In the next 13 months, Kohli will seek all the answers.

(With PTI inputs)

READ SOURCE

⚡️Fastest Live Score

Never miss any exciting cricket moment

OPEN