It may be unsettled after an unexpected injury to Jasprit Bumrah but the Indian team would aim to continue their winning run and complete a rare home-series win against South Africa when the two sides clash in the second T20I in Guwahati on Sunday. The match starts at 7 PM IST. (More Cricket News)
Bumrah was expected to play a key role in Indian team's campaign in the Australian conditions but his ‘back stress fracture’ has ruled him out of the ICC flagship event, starting in three weeks' time. The IND vs SA, second T20I scorecard can be found HERE and ball-by-ball commentary HERE.
The ongoing series was originally planned as the final tune-up for Rahul Dravid's team but Bumrah's absence from the remaining two T20Is has now thrown more questions than answers. Umesh Yadav and Mohammad Siraj have been added to the squad as injury replacements but they do not figure in the World Cup-bound squad, as of now.
The burning question is, will the two remaining T20Is give the team management scope to test Bumrah's replacement. The seasoned Mohammad Shami, who is in the World Cup squad as stand-by, is not here for the South Africa series.
Shami has recovered from COVID-19 and has more chances of making it to Australia because of his experience Down Under. If that's the case, he might end up having little game time before their World Cup warm-up fixture against the reigning champions on October 16.
For the SA series, the team has a fit-again Deepak Chahar who also figures in the World Cup standby. Chahar (4-0-24-2) looked in fine mettle when he along with young left-arm pace gun Arshdeep Singh (4-0-32-3) reduced the Proteas to 9/5 inside the power on the Greenfield track as India took a 1-0 lead.
But swing will be out of equation in conditions Down Under and Chahar is more in the mould of Bhuvenshwar Kumar, who is in the World Cup XI along with Arshdeep. Siraj, on the other hand, has struggled of late and has inspired very little confidence.
It's a different debate altogether that Bhuvneshwar, who is short on experience -- three T20Is -- in Australia has started leaking runs and no longer holds the ace, as it was seen in their Asia Cup elimination last month.
Ditto for World Cup-bound Harshal Patel as it remains to be seen how the think-tank manages to arrange the jigsaw. In the past, they have overcome bigger hurdles, like when in 2020-21 they won a back-to-back series in Australia with their fifth or sixth choice bowlers.
From the series' perspective, India will be chasing their first ever victory over the Proteas in the format at home soil and a win will seal it. It's a different thing that it would hold little significance in the bigger picture.
That they have struggled in the world tournaments is not a secret and the 2007 champions, who last made the semifinal in 2016, would hope to avoid a repeat of 2021 UAE edition when they failed to make the knockouts.
Boasting the likes of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje, the South African bowling lacked the sting after the duo dismissed Rohit and Kohli cheaply. Bavuma would hope that they put up a much-improved show and also the toss of the coin comes in his favour so as to test the Indian batting up front.
India have played South Africa 21 times in T20Is, winning 12 of them. South Africa won eight while one game ended in no result.
How To Watch India Vs South Africa, Second T20I Live?
Star Sports Network has the broadcast rights of India vs South Africa T20I series starting on September 28. Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi, and Star Sports 1 HD Hindi will live telecast the India vs South Africa, second T20I. Live streaming of India vs South Africa, second T20I will be on Disney+ Hotstar App.
India: Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Arshdeep Singh, Harshal Patel, Deepak Chahar, Umesh Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Shahbaz Ahmed and Mohammad Siraj.
South Africa: Temba Bavuma (Captain), Quinton de Kock (wk), Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Tabraiz Shamsi, Tristan Stubbs.