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India Vs South Africa, 3rd T20I: Kuldeep Yadav Bags Fifer On Birthday, Spins Visitors To Massive Win

Birthday boy Kuldeep Yadav scalped four wickets off his last six balls to help skittle out South Africa for 95 all out in the third T20I against India in Johannesburg. Selectors will now have a hard time deciding whether to pick Kuldeep or Ravi Bishnoi for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup

File image of India's left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav in ODI cricket action.
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Making his selection tussle with Ravi Bishnoi even more interesting, birthday boy Kuldeep Yadav bagged a five-wicket haul in the third T20I to help India win the game and level the series 1-1 in Johannesburg on Thursday, December 14, 2023. (As It Happened | Scorecard | Cricket News)

Kuldeep spun a web through the Proteas batting and was well nigh unplayable, returning magical figures of 5-17 off just 17 balls bowled. He scalped four wickets off his last six balls to snuff out any chances of a South African fightback.

With this performance, Kuldeep has given another headache to the selectors and team management, who eventually have to decide who to pick in the playing XI for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup in June 2024. Bishnoi is the world number T20I bowler currently and was the Player of The Series during Australia's tour of India. Kuldeep, on the other hand, did well in ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 and has now dazzled in South Africa.

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Earlier, India T20I captain Suryakumar Yadav accelerated when it mattered, coming up with his fourth T20 international century to guide India to an imposing first-innings total of 201/7 against the Proteas. Suryakumar Yadav, who is the world No. 1 batter in ICC's T20I rankings, smashed his blistering ton off just 55 balls.

India were asked to bat first after South Africa captain Aiden Markram won the toss and opted to field. India played the same XI as the last game, with Ravi Bishnoi and Shreyas Iyer sitting out again. Meanwhile, South Africa made three changes in their playing XI with fast bowler Nandre Burger making his debut, while left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj and wicketkeeper-batter Donovan Ferreira too made their way into the side.

Playing XIs
India:
1 Yashasvi Jaiswal, 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Tilak Varma, 4 Suryakumar Yadav (capt), 5 Rinku Singh, 6 Jitesh Sharma (wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Arshdeep Singh, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Mohammed Siraj, 11 Mukesh Kumar
South Africa: 1 Reeza Hendricks, 2 Matthew Breetzke, 3 Aiden Markram, 4 Heinrich Klaasen (wk), 5 David Miller, 6 Donovan Ferreira, 7 Andile Phehlukwayo, 8 Keshav Maharaj, 9 Lizaad Williams, 10 Nandre Burger, 11 Tabraiz Shamsi

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