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India-SA T20I series begins Sunday as second liners ready to make WC cut

India-SA T20I series begins Sunday as second liners ready to make WC cut

Durban, Dec 9 (UNI) Both India and South Africa selectors will use the three-match T20I series to make right combinations ahead of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup next year as it dishes out a massive opportunity for second line players.
Though Mukesh Kumar, Mohammed Siraj, Rinku Singh and Jitesh Sharma have played a fewer T20Is, but they will get a chance to put up a good show and cement their chances, if not they can gain some experience in South Africa, before India take on Afghanistan on home soil.
South Africa could debut left-arm quick Nandre Burger and right-arm medium-fast Ottniel Baartman, and also give opening batsman Matthew Breetzke a run in all three T20Is.
Major spotlight will be on India spinner Ravi Bishnoi and South Africa's Reeza Hendricks. Bishnoi is perched on No.1 spot in the ICC's T20I bowling rankings, after finishing as leading wicket-taker in the just-concluded India-Australia T20I series.
He could pose a major threat to the South Africa batting lineup which still have not learnt the art of playing leg-spinners. The Indian star has bagged only one wicket in his only ODI against the Proteas, but is expected to give the hosts some jitters in the shortest format.
It is interesting to know whether Deepak Chahar will get a chance in the series opener as he is coming into the side after missing the last T20I against Australia due to a medical emergency.
India also are in a tricky situation of choosing between openers Shubman Gill and Ruturaj Gaikwad. And if India can accommodate just one spinner, there will be a toss-up between Bishnoi and Kuldeep Yadav.
Hendricks will try to take advantage of Quinton de Kock's absence and showcase his batting skills in this format as he is yet to cement his place for a reckoning for the T20 World Cup.
Hendricks has been in great form this year as he is South Africa's leading run-getter, cracking 7 half-centuries in the last 11 T20I innings. Some good knocks against India can confirm his place.
Breetzke will play with Hendricks at the top of the order, but would not don the gloves behind the stumps. So, the choice will be between Tristan Stubbs and Heinrich Klaasen for the job.
With many all rounders making the team, only two among the three - Donovan Ferreira, Marco Jansen and Andile Phehlukwayo - are likely to play. Burger may get a debut match, with two spinners to add experience to a young attack.
India have won two of their last four T20I series against South Africa, with the other two ending in draws.
In the last tour, South Africa thrashed India in a T20I series in October 2015, when they had won 2-0 in India.
This time around India would be wanting to change the fortunes in their favour.
Squads
India: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill/Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav (capt), Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Kuldeep Yadav/Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Siraj, Arshdeep Singh/Mukesh Kumar.
South Africa: Reeza Hendricks, Matthew Breetzke, Aiden Markam, Tristan Stubbs/Heinrich Klaasen (wk), David Miller, Donovan Ferreira, Marco Jansen/Andile Phehlukwayo, Keshav Maharaj, Gerald Coetzee, Nandre Burger, Tabraiz Shamsi.
UNI BDN ARN

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