Want to be a professional cricketer?
India will begin their home season with the first T20I against South Africa at the picturesque Dharamshala stadium. Both the teams are evenly matched in the ICC T20I rankings and both of them will have a common goal for the series – to prepare for the ICC T20I World Cup next year. South Africa will have their task cut out as they have inexperienced group of players.
On the other hand, the shortest format of the game hasn’t been India’s forte and they will also like to fill in the missing pieces. The Men in Blue had convincingly beaten West Indies 3-0 but the Proteas are going to bring a different challenge to the table.
Both teams will like to draw first blood.
Meanwhile, some of the players will be in focus like Shikhar Dhawan. The southpaw doesn’t have a great T20I record and he had a mundane come back to the game after missing the World Cup due to thumb fracture.
South Africa will have a new leader in Quinton de Kock and it would be interesting to note how the wicket-keeper batsman would muster his troops.
With no Faf du Plessis, JP Duminy, Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn in the side, the onus would be on experienced players like David Miller and Kagiso Rabada.
Furthermore, the absence of big players from the South African team will be an opportunity for young players to grab their chance.
On the other hand, Hardik Pandya will return to the side. Moreover, it would be an opportunity for players like Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Washington Sundar, Chahar’s brothers, and Navdeep Saini to make the most of their chances.
Match Prediction: India as hosts will start the match as the favorites. However, as the T20I match can turn in a matter of seconds, it is going to be a toss between who wins the crucial stages of the match.