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1st T20I: India vs South Africa predictions: will India create a new world record?

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1st T20: India vs South Africa Predictions - Will India create a new world record?

After two months of jaw-dropping IPL action, it is time for international cricket to resume. India will take on South Africa in a five-match T20I series at home ahead of the T20I World Cup set to be held later this year. Both teams will be eying for a series victory to gain some momentum ahead of the upcoming round of games. 

India are on a 12-game unbeaten streak in T20Is, and a win against South Africa will see them break the world record for the most successive wins in T20I cricket, beating Afghanistan and Romania. 

Team India have rested their senior players for this tour and the selectors have gone with a shuffle of players to pick the right team for the World Cup. This is a young side led by the formidable KL Rahul and coached by the veteran Rahul Dravid.

Team India’s batting will be led by their captain, who will be looking to gain support from Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant. Ruturaj Gaikwad and Venkatesh Iyer, too, have been called up and will be looking to impress. Dinesh Karthik has returned to the team on back off his wonderful performances with the bat for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL. Hardik Pandya will be looking provide that extra bowling threat to the team. The bowling will be led by Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Harshal Patel. Umran Malik and Avesh Khan have also been included in the squad. Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have also earned a place in the squad due to their consistent and dominant performance with the ball in the IPL. Overall, Team India are boasting a strong in-form squad and will be eying for nothing less than a series win against South Africa. 

South Africa, on the other hand, are coming on the back of a thumping series win against Bangladesh prior to the IPL. Temba Bavuma has done a brilliant job leading his team so far. The Proteas will be relying on their wicketkeeper-batter Quinton de Kock to fire and get them to a great start. They will be also relying on David Miller, who had a standout season in the recently-concluded IPL for the champions Gujarat Titans. Their bowling will be led by Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje, both of whom have plenty of experience playing in India due to their contributions to the IPL. Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj will be at the forefront of their spin attack. Overall, South Africa look a well-balanced team on paper and will very well be looking to cause damage and clinch the series against Team India. 

Match details

Match: India vs South Africa, Thursday, 9 June 2022

Venue: Arun Jaitley Stadium, Delhi. 

Time: 7:00 pm (IST)

Where to watch: Star Sports Network | Disney+ Hotstar

Pitch report

As the records stand, the pitch at the Arun Jaitley stadium is towards the slower side, which will aid the spinners. However, don’t forget that the stadium has short boundaries, which will make it easier for the batters to play some fine strokes. Both teams will be looking to bat first on this pitch and pose a good total on the board, though they’ll need to be aware of the spinners in the opposite team and not lose crucial wickets, which may dent the chances of a considerable total.

Probable playing XIs

India

KL Rahul (c), Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Harshal Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Umran Malik

Bench: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Deepak Hooda, Venkatesh Iyer, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravi Bishnoi, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh

South Africa

Quintin de Kock (wk), Reeza Hendricks, Temba Bavuma (c), Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabrais Shamsi, Anrich Nortje, Keshav Maharaj

Bench: Heinrich Klassen, Marco Jansen, Tristan Stubbs, Wayne Parnell, Lungi Ngidi

Head-to-head

Matches Played: 15 | India: 9 | South Africa: 6

Last five matches: India: 2 | South Africa: 2 | No result: 1

Batter to watch out for: KL Rahul 

If there is one player who just keeps on impressing with every passing match and tournament, it’s KL Rahul. He has improved remarkably over the years and has been one of the most consistent and top run-getters for Team India in recent years. He had a marvellous IPL, scoring 616 runs at an Average of 51.33, and will be looking to carry on this form and momentum into the upcoming international fixtures. All eyes will be on him to lead Team India to a great start in the upcoming T20I games and showcase why he is one of the best in the business.

Bowler to watch out for: Yuzvdendra Chahal

Yuzvendra Chahal was the standout bowler in IPL 2022 as he walked away with the Purple Cap, picking up 27 wickets in 17 games. Through his consistent performances, he made his claim to regain his spot in the national setup. He will be hoping to for his performances to continue in order to cement his place in the Indian squad for the T20I World Cup. I expect him to be among the wicket-takers on Thursday, with the pitch coming to his aid as well. Be sure to have him in your fantasy team. 

Fantasy XI

Quinton de Kock, Ishan Kishan, KL Rahul (c), Shreyas Iyer, Temba Bavuma, Reeza Hendricks, Hardik Pandya (vc), Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Harshal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal

Match prediction

It’s a new-look Men in Blue team that will be up against a fierce South African team who will be looking to dominate the series ahead of their preparations for the upcoming T20I World Cup. Both teams look strong on paper and possess depth in their squad. However, considering the form Team India are in and with the home crowd to their advantage, I predict them to break the world record for most T20I wins and take the lead in the series. 

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