India vs South Africa: Five Indian players to watch out for in T20I series against South Africa | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: With IPL debutants Gujarat Titans crowned champions in front of a record crowd of 1,04,859 fans at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on May 29, the cricketing action now shifts to the road to men’s T20 World Cup in Australia to be held in October-November this year.
On that road, India will host South Africa for a five-match T20I series beginning June 9.
The first match of the series, to be held at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, will offer the Indian team a chance to chase a 13-match winning streak in T20Is. Currently, India are level with Afghanistan and Romania for most consecutive wins in T20Is at 12.

India have opted to rest their main players Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah, with KL Rahul leading the 18-member side and Rishabh Pant serving as his deputy. With newbies and veteran players in the mix, here are five Indian players to watch out for in the series against South Africa:
Hardik Pandya


(Photo by Surjeet Yadav/Getty Images)
Hardik Pandya dished out a fitting response to his critics when he delivered a highly-influential all-round display in the IPL 2022 final against Rajasthan Royals, taking 3/17 with the ball and making a patient 34 with the bat. The Gujarat Titans skipper was surrounded with concerns about his fitness, especially bowling.
But Pandya successfully steered his side to their maiden IPL title in front of his home crowd in Ahmedabad. He wrapped up the season with 487 runs in 15 matches at an average of 44.27, including four half-centuries apart from picking eight wickets.
It can’t be denied that the spotlight will be on Pandya and his all-round skills in the five-match series.
KL Rahul


(TOI Photo)
KL Rahul’s leadership, together with his batting, earned him great plaudits during Lucknow Super Giants’ campaign in IPL 2022, where they qualified for the playoffs before crashing out in the Eliminator.
Rahul the opener had a stellar season with the bat, becoming the second-highest run-getter in the tournament, scoring 616 runs at an average of 51.33, though a lot of debate has been on his strike rate of 135.38.
India would be hoping that Rahul becomes a little bit more aggressive with the bat at the top.
Dinesh Karthik


(Photo: Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Dinesh Karthik did not just knock at the selection doors but pushed it wide open with consistent performances as a specialist finisher for Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2022. Karthik, who also won the IPL’s ‘Super Striker of the Season’ award with a jaw-dropping strike-rate of 183, proved his finishing credentials once again, making 242 runs at a strike rate of 220 in the death-overs phase.
With the recall to the T20I squad complete, Karthik would like to replicate his IPL 2022 performances in the Indian jersey and grab a spot in the flight to men’s T20 World Cup in Australia later in the year.
Umran Malik


The Sunrisers Hyderabad pace machine from Jammu caught everyone’s attention, consistently clocking speeds in excess of 150 kmph. Though Lockie Ferguson snatched the award for fastest ball of the tournament with a 157.3 kmph thunderbolt, Umran left Indian fans thrilled with his raw pace.
In his first full IPL season, Umran scalped 22 wickets with his best performance of 5/25 against eventual champions Gujarat Titans. Legends of the game all backed Malik to be an India player, and it remains to be seen if he continues to keep the speed gun busy against South Africa with improved control on line and length.
Arshdeep Singh


(Photo: BCCI/IPL)
Arshdeep Singh has been another young pacer, just like Malik, who left many people excited in IPL 2022. The 23-year-old had been the go-to bowler for Punjab Kings in the death overs with his ability to nail the yorkers and targeting the block hole consistently.
All of this meant that Arshdeep finished the season with death-overs economy rate of 7.58 apart from taking 10 wickets with best bowling figures of 3/37. Arshdeep, a member of India’s U19 World Cup winning squad in 2018, will be eager to carry his good form into the series against South Africa.


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