After a disappointing end to their World Cup campaign with a semi-final exit, South Africa are now all set to host the Men in Blue (the Indian team) for a one-month-long tour of three T20Is, three ODIs, and two test matches to finish things off.
The first T20I match of the series will be played at the Kingsmead Stadium, Durban, on Sunday, December 10, 2023, at 9:30 p.m. IST. The top bookmakers in India have odds for this match with them.
It is going to be the first match for the Proteas after the World Cup, whereas Team India is coming off a 4-1 T20I series win against the Aussies. Touring South Africa is always a challenging task, as the bounce here is unreal and the batters take a lot of time to adjust themselves.
Siraj is a lethal newball bowler who has 11 wickets in 8 T20I matches and the South African pitches are further expected to assist his bowling
The betting tip is...
Mohammad Siraj to take 1.5+ wickets
This revamped South African team will be captained by Aiden Markram, with David Miller, Heinrich Klaasen, and Keshav Maharaj among the other seasoned players.
Gerald Coetzee, Donovan Ferreira, and Tristan Stubbs are among the young players who have been given opportunities, but Dewald Brevis has been unfortunate not to make the team.
The innings will be opened by Reeza Hendricks and Aiden Markram, following Klaasen, Miller, Stubbs, and Ferreira. As for the other fast bowlers, Gerald Coetzee and Lungi Ngidi are anticipated to be paired with the left-arm Marco Jansen.
South Africa are likely to go with two spinners Shamsi and Maharaj for this game.
Predicted Lineup: Reeza Hendricks, Aiden Markram (c), Heinrich Klaasen (wk), David Miller, Tristan Stubbs, Donovan Ferreira, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Gerlad Coetzee, Lungi Ngidi, and Tabrazi Shamsi
The Indian roster is essentially unchanged, except the return of Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, and Mohammad Siraj to the T20I team following their rest during the series against Australia.
Unless India chooses to use Kishan as the finisher alongside Rinku Singh, Ishan Kishan would most likely open the series as the primary wicketkeeper, forcing Iyer to bat at four and Suryakumar to bat at five.
Sundar and Bishnoi will probably be left off the starting eleven with the return of Kuldeep and Jadeja, while Deepak Chahar, one of the four fast bowlers, may not make the starting eleven initially.
Team India will be without Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya who have opted out for this series.
Predicted Lineup: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan (wk), Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav (c), Rinku Singh, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Mohammad Siraj, and Mukesh Kumar
While the Indian team may appear stronger on paper, the South African team's home advantage levels the playing field. In this series, the fast bowlers will shoulder significant responsibilities, requiring precise lengths and quick deliveries.
Anticipate a series where bowlers dominate, particularly in the initial game, making high scores less likely.
Suryakumar Yadav's T20I captaincy began on a high note with a 4-1 series win against Australia, but facing the formidable Aiden Markram and his team presents a real test. With key senior players absent from both sides, this series offers a golden opportunity for young talents to seize the moment and solidify their positions in their respective teams.