India and South Africa will be squaring off in the second T20I of the five-match series on Sunday at Barabati Stadium. The Rishabh Pant-led side had lost the first game by seven wickets even after posting 211/4 in 20 overs. A below-par performance with the ball cost the hosts dearly and the Proteas chased down 212 with seven wickets in hand and five balls to spare. Harshal Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Avesh Khan were unable to execute their yorkers in the death overs, and hence David Miller and Rassie van der Dussen made them pay. So it would be interesting to see whether the hosts make any changes to their lineup, with the likes of Arshdeep Singh and Umran Malik waiting in the wings.
Here’s what we think should be India’s playing XI for the second T20I against South Africa:
Ishan Kishan: The left-handed batter was at his best in the first T20I as he scored a quickfire 76, hitting both spinners and seamers at ease. With T20 World Cup set to be played this year, he would look to put forward a strong case for his inclusion in the squad.
Ruturaj Gaikwad: The right-hander found it tough initially as he was unable to rotate the strike. He scored 23 runs off 15 balls with the help of three sixes, but he would hope to rotate the strike more often to keep the number of dot balls down.
Shreyas Iyer: He might have scored 36 runs in the first T20I, but the problems against seamers were out there for everyone to see. The likes of Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada are expected to test him out with bouncers so it would be interesting to see how Shreyas goes.
Rishabh Pant: The skipper played a quickfire knock in the first T20I, scoring 29 off 16 balls. The batter has all the arsenal to get going from ball number one so it would be interesting to see his approach.
Hardik Pandya: The maverick all-rounder was at his best in the first game and he gave the innings a flourishing finish. However, with the ball, he gave away 18 runs in the only over he bowled. So, it needs to be seen how Pant uses Pandya the bowler.
Dinesh Karthik: The veteran did not have much to do in the first game as he only batted for two balls. He would hope to get more batting time to make use of the form he showed in the IPL for RCB.
Axar Patel: The left-arm spinner conceded 40 runs in his four overs, picking one wicket. He has a knack of bowling wicket-to-wicket and if there is any assistance for the spinners in Cuttack, Axar would be a handful to deal with.
Harshal Patel: The death-over specialist erred in his line and length in the 17th over of the last game as Rassie van der Dussen hit him for 22 runs. The slower balls were not executed well, and Harshal would hope for some change in fortune.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar: The experienced bowler started off well in the powerplay, giving away just seven runs in two overs. But at the death, he was taken for plenty by Miller and van der Dussen. He would hope for a better showing at the death.
Yuzvendra Chahal: Rishabh Pant utilised the Purple Cap winner of this IPL for only 2.1 overs in which he gave away 26 runs. The wily spinner would hope to bowl his full quota of four overs to leave a lasting impression on the game.
Avesh Khan: Avesh Khan conceded 35 runs in four overs and he was the most economical of the frontline seamers. There would be a temptation to try out Arshdeep as he bowls exceptionally well at the death, but knowing how head coach Rahul Dravid keeps talking about consistency in selection, it is hard to see Arshdeep coming in for the second T20I.
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