Team India take on South Africa in a three-match T20I series
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After making a stunning comeback to win the T20I series against Australia, Team India host South Africa in their final assignment of the shortest format ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022.
The Men in Blue have retained the majority of the squad that featured in the recently-concluded series against Australia.
Pacer Arshdeep Singh returns to the side for the three-match series as Hardik Pandya and Bhuneshwar Kumar are rested.
However, according to the latest reports, pacer Mohammad Shami and all-rounder Deepak Hooda are yet to recover from COVID-19 and a back injury, respectively.
On the other hand, South Africa do not have any injury concerns and have named a full-strength squad for this series.
The Proteas have won both their previous T20I series against England and Ireland and will be high on confidence going into this contest.
India vs South Africa T20I head-to-head record
The two teams met earlier this year in a five-match T20I series which ended 2-2 with the final game being washed out due to rain.
Talking about the overall head-to-head record since the inception of the format, Team India has an upper hand over the visitors. In a total of 20 T20Is, India have won 11 while Proteas have emerged victorious on eight occasions.
Interestingly, Team India has never won a bilateral T20I series against South Africa at home in three attempts. Hence, the Temba Bavuma-led side still holds an edge ahead of the series.
Nonetheless, the hosts have won 21 T20Is so far in 2022, most by any team in a calendar year. With these three T20Is and the T20 World Cup next month, they have ample encounters to further their record.
India's death bowling a cause for concern
Team India’s death bowling credentials have come under scrutiny in recent times, often struggling to contain runs towards the end of the innings.
Pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Harshal Patel have had a few difficult outings. But with the return of Arshdeep Singh, who has been disciplined in death-overs bowling, Team India will try to pair him up with Jasprit Bumrah, who will be tested by an attacking Proteas batting line-up.
If this combination turns fruitful, the team can breathe a sigh of relief ahead of the T20 World Cup next month.
Player battles to watch out for
Suryakumar Yadav vs Kagiso Rabada
The Mumbai Indians batter has been in scintillating form of late. He finished the Australia series with 115 runs in three matches at a strike rate of 185.48.
He will face a stern test from South Africa pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada, who has dismissed him thrice in eight IPL matches since 2019.
Reeza Hendricks vs Jasprit Bumrah
Opener Reeza Hendricks has been in terrific form in T20Is, with his last five scores in the format reading 70, 53, 57, 42, and 74. Thus, the onus will be on Jasprit Bumrah to put brakes on the flow of runs and keep the run rate in check.
India begin the series with the first T20I at the Greenfield Stadium in Kerala on September 28 before moving to Assam on October 2. The final game will be staged in Indore on October 4. All matches will start at 7:00 PM IST.
Keep cheering for our Men in Blue, Paltan!