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IND Vs SA, T20I Series: Five Mouth-watering Battles To Look Out For

The five-match T20I series between India and South Africa will feature some fascinating individual battles. Here's a look at five key battles.

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KL Rahul will lead India against South Africa.
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After a hectic IPL 2022 schedule, Indian and South African cricketers will turn up in their respective national colours for the five-match T20 International series, starting Thursday in Delhi. All five IND vs SA, T20I matches will be telecast live on Star Sports Network. Fans can also stream the action live on Disney+ Hotstar. (More Cricket News)

India, under stand-in KL Rahul, will look to extend their winning streak to 13 matches for the outright record of most wins in a row. They currently share the honour with Afghanistan and Romania.

The five-match series against the visiting Proteas will feature some fascinating individual battles with some IPL teammates going head-to-head against each other. Here's a look at five key battles:

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Rishabh Pant vs Anrich Nortje

The upcoming T20I series can be a serious match-up between Rishabh Pant’s aggressive intent and the pace of Anrich Nortje. The Delhi Capitals captain, who finished the season with 340 runs at an average of 30.91 and a strike rate of 151.79, will certainly want to up the ante.

Pant's presence in the middle order adds more steal to the batting department, but it remains to be seen how the wicketkeeper-batter handles the pace of Nortje. The South Africa pacer, plying his trade for DC under the leadership of Pant, has been hit by quite a few injury woes.

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However, during the six matches that he played in the IPL 2022, he picked nine wickets and would be eager to raise the bar in the T20I series and against his IPL captain too.

KL Rahul vs Kagiso Rabada

Both KL Rahul and Kagiso Rabada have had a great IPL 2022. KL Rahul, while leading debutants Lucknow Super Giants, wrapped up his amazing season with 616 runs at an average of 51.33 and a strike rate of 135.38. Pace machine Rabada, meanwhile, spoiled many parties with 23 wickets in 13 matches at an economy rate of 8.46.

KL Rahul has shown tremendous grit and determination at the crease and an equal amount has been on the show by Rabada with his precision toe crushers, mixing up his deliveries with equal aplomb.

In fact, Rabada got the better of Team India’s swashbuckling batter in match 42 of the IPL 2022 where Rabada sent Rahul back early in the innings. It will be redemption time for KL Rahul and time to settle the scores!

Quinton de Kock vs Bhuvneshwar Kumar

South Africa’s wicketkeeper-batter couldn’t have asked for a better IPL 2022 season. Providing much-needed stability to the Lucknow Super Giants' top order, Quinton de Kock registered 508 runs at an average of 36.29 and a strike rate of 148.97.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, meanwhile, may end up wanting a little more from the IPL, snapping 12 wickets in 14 matches with an economy of 7.34, but the pacer would like to leave his past behind and will try to level up his performance and beset Quinton de Kock with the variations in his bowling.

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The opening overs specially will be something to watch. With Bhuvi trying to get the ball swinging both ways, he could pose a challenge to Quinton. De Kock, meanwhile, will want to take his IPL form into the series.

Temba Bavuma vs Yuzvendra Chahal

South African skipper in limited-overs cricket Temba Bavuma will be leading the team and while the hosts will pose a stiff challenge, he'll have to face the challenge of spin wizard, leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.

The wily spinner, winner of the IPL 2022 Purple Cap, bagged a total of 27 wickets in 17 matches with an economy of 7.75. Chahal would love to continue his prime form and get the better of Bavuma.

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David Miller vs Harshal Patel

David Miller was one of the stars of the title-winning Gujarat Titans in the IPL 2022. Miller wrapped up the IPL 2022 season with 481 runs an average of 68.71 and a strike rate of 142.73.

While batting in the middle order, he will be up against pace bowler Harshal Patel, who bagged 19 wickets with an economy of 7.66.

So it will be exciting to watch whether ‘Killer Miller’ dominates his show or can Harshal outfox his South Africa batting opponent.

India vs South Africa, T20I series complete schedule

1st T20I at Arun Jaitley Stadium, Delhi on June 9;
2nd T20I at Barabati Stadium, Cuttack on June 12;
3rd T20I at Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam on June 14;
4th T20I at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot on June 17;
5th T20I at M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru on June 19.

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All the matches start at 7:00 PM IST/local time.

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