Will India Be Able To Win The First T20 Game Against South Africa on June 9?
The 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL) closed on May 29 after 6 weeks of intense T20 cricket. The Indian cricket team gets no rest as they are scheduled to play a 5 match T20 series against South Africa at home.
The BCCI has decided to rest several senior players who have either been out of form in the IPL, injured, or just exhausted and give some young players who impressed in the 2022 IPL a chance to showcase their skills in the T20 series.
First T20 – Delhi – June 09
The first T20 will take place on June 09 in Delhi, and this will be a day/night game. Things will be tough for the visitors as the temperature in Delhi is in the mid-40s during the day and drops to the high 30s towards the night.
India will have the home advantage and hence go in as the betting favorites. The weather and pitch conditions will favour the home side and the crowds. However, don’t expect this to be an easy game for India as South Africa has sent across a very strong T20 side that will be captained by T Bavuma.
India will definitely want to win the first T20 and get off to a 1-0 start, as it will immediately put pressure on the Proteas to win the second T20 and not let the series slip away quickly.
Our experts take a look at some of the key factors that will influence the outcome of this game!
Big Stars Missing From Team India
India has relied heavily on R Sharma, V Kohli, R Jadeja, and J Bumrah to win T20 games in the past. All four of these players will not feature in this T20 series, and India will have to find a way to win without these big stars.
The selectors have decided to introduce several players who have been in great form during the 2022 IPL and hope they will carry their IPL form into the T20 series. Not all of these players are new faces, as the selectors also decided to bring back the likes of D Karthik, K Yadav, and Y Chahal, who have played many T20 games for India in the past.
The new faces in the T20 squad are those who have played a handful of games or are yet to make their debut. These include pace sensation U Malik, R Bishnoi, A Singh, A Khan, D Hooda, and R Gaikwad.
We expect the selectors to play a strong playing XI in the first T20 as India will want to allow their more experienced players to start the series. This is because India will want to secure a 1-0 lead and try and win the series as early as possible before giving some of the younger players a chance to feature in the T20 side.
KL Rahul – Captaincy Will Be Tested
The selectors had the option of selecting either H Pandya or KL Rahul to captain the T20 side, and they decided to go with the more experienced KL Rahul, and our experts don’t think it was the right call.
KL Rahul captained the ODI team against South Africa and lost the series 0-3. He will look to redeem himself against the Proteas in the T20 series, but if India loses the first T20, Rahul will find himself under a lot of pressure.
We felt that selectors should have allowed H Pandya to captain India given how well he has led the Gujarat Titans in the 2022 IPL.
South Africa Have The Players To Win The Series
When we look at the South African T20 squad, we see that they have a strong squad that is even better than India’s T20 squad. Many of their players did not play the 2022 IPL and will be fresher and raring to go than team India, as all of their players are coming out of a heavy 2022 IPL schedule. South Africa has a great pace attack and a strong batting line-up. Their only weakness could be in the spin department.
We expect this to be a closely contested series and believe whoever wins the first T20 will likely end up winning the T20 series.
India – Potential Playing XI:
Ruturaj Gaikwad, KL Rahul (c), I Kishan, S Iyer, R Pant (wk), H Pandya, D Hooda, B Kumar, Y Chahal, H Patel, U Malik
South Africa – Potential Playing XI:
Quinton de Kock (wk), R Hendricks, A Markram, T Bavuma (c), Rassie van der Dussen, D Miller, W Parnell, M Jansen, KG Rabada, T Shamsi, K Maharaj.