India and South Africa will be squaring off in the second T20I of the three-match series at Barsapara Cricket Stadium, Guwahati on Sunday. The Rohit Sharma-led side is 1-0 ahead in the series as it had won the first game by 8 wickets in Thiruvananthapuram. Hence, the second T20I is a must-win game for the Proteas if they have to stay alive in the series. Meanwhile, India will also be eager to register another win and seal yet another series — their last T20I affair ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia.
In the first game, India played with five bowlers and won the game quite easily. Hence, it will be interesting to see if they get tempted to add a sixth bowling option in the playing XI by dropping either Rishabh Pant or Dinesh Karthik.
Here is what we think could be India’s playing XI vs South Africa in the second T20I:
Rohit Sharma (c): The Indian skipper fell for a two-ball duck in the first T20I against South Africa. However, he is in good form with the bat. While big scores have not come so much of late for Rohit, he has managed to bat positively with a good strike rate.
KL Rahul: With three fifties in the past 5 innings, KL Rahul has definitely got his form back. In the first T20I vs the Proteas, he had scored an unbeaten 51 to guide India home.
Virat Kohli: The right-handed batter has not been as consistent of late as he used to be during his prime days. However, his recent comeback to form has instilled a positive energy in his batting.
Suryakumar Yadav: With back-to-back fifties, the right-handed batter continues to strengthen India’s middle-order. However, in his case, more than the runs, it is about the array of shots in his armoury that steal the limelight. Always!
Rishabh Pant: The wicketkeeper-batter has got very limited opportunities of late and his poor T20I stats alongside make it all look more worrisome. He is likely to stay in the playing XI against South Africa in the second T20I.
Dinesh Karthik: The match-finisher has shown glimpses of his brilliance since his return to the national side after a long gap, but the best of Karthik is still awaited.
Axar Patel: The southpaw has been right on the money with the ball in hand and that is one of the prime reasons that India are not feeling the pressure of an injured Ravindra Jadeja missing the cricketing action. Axar is handy with the bat too.
Ravichandran Ashwin: The off-spinner has struggled to take wickets of late but his impressive economy keeps him in the scheme of things. Though he didn’t get any wicket, Ashwin conceded only 8 runs in his four overs against South Africa in the first T20I.
Harshal Patel: The right-arm pacer is slowly and gradually getting back in his groove. He returned figures of 2 for 26 in four overs against South Africa.
Deepak Chahar: The swing bowler was impressive with the new ball against South Africa in the first T20I. Overall, he returned figures of 2 for 24 in his four overs.
Arshdeep Singh: The left-arm pacer had picked three wickets while giving away 32 runs in the first T20I against South Africa. He was spot on with the ball in the game and that is going to boost his confidence in the upcoming games.
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