Cricket peaked again. About after 3 years of dull international cricket which included hectic scheduling, out-of-form legends, too much of one format & some board v/s player controversies, we got to see some high drama, thrill & best quality of cricket in the pinnacle event of the sport the ODI World Cup.
Australia won the tournament, claiming their 6th title by defeating India for whom the wait for an ICC trophy continues for the 11th year but there’s one nation who might be even more desperate for a trophy as they last won in 1998 and that is none other than South Africa. The two teams that were knocked out by Australia will be facing each other in a 3-match KFC t20i series as the preparation for the next mega event “The T20 World Cup 2024“ begins.
Even though the result of the last 2 T20i series didn’t go their way, the Proteas have taken the format seriously since the nightmare exit from the 2022 T20 World Cup. Aiden Markram was chosen as the new T20 captain following his victory in the first SA20 tournament with Sunrisers Eastern Cape. Reeza Hendricks was given a consecutive 6-match run as an opener in which he didn’t disappoint at all and is currently the highest run-getter in the format for South Africa this year. Donovan Ferreira, Matthew Breetzke and Gerald Coetzee were handed their t20 caps and are very much in the plan moving forward.
Matthew Breetzke is expected to open and keep wickets in the absence of Quinton De Kock, who will be playing Big Bash league this season but will be available for future T20 Internationals.
All the top performers of last season’s SA20 have been considered for the T20I format. Anrich Nortje & Wayne Parnell were not considered as they’re still going through their rehabilitation process after suffering injuries earlier this year.
T20I Squad: Aiden Markram (c), Ottniel Baartman, Matthew Breetzke, Nande Burger, Gerald Coetzee, Donovan Ferreira, Reeza Hendricks, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, David Miller, Nandre Burger, Beuran Hendricks, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi, Tristan Stubbs, Lizaad Williams.
The Runners-up of the ODI World Cup started their T20 WC preparation well by defeating Australia 4-1 with a fairly young squad under the leadership of Surya Kumar Yadav. Surya will continue to lead India in T20Is for the South Africa series as BCCI still hasn’t made any final decision on who will be India’s captain in the T20 World Cup.
The T20I Squad for South Africa series is pretty much the same as the one that defeated Australia 4-1 except for 2 big changes. Axar Patel who won player of the match award twice in the series isn’t continuing for the India v/s South Africa series, instead Ravindra Jadeja will join the team that too as vice-captain. No specific reason has been given on why Axar has been excluded from the team and the player himself will feel very unlucky to miss out despite giving equally brilliant performances with bowl and bat.
T20I Squad: Surya Kumar Yadav (c), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Tilak Verma, Rinku Singh, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan, Ravindra Jadeja, Jitesh Sharma, Washington Sundar, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammad Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Deepak Chahar.
Probable Playing XIs
South Africa: Matthew Breetzke (wk), Reeza Hendricks, Aiden Markram (c), Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Tristan Stubbs, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Gerald Coetzee, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lungi Ngidi.
India: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubhman Gill, Ishan Kishan(wk), Surya Kumar Yadav (c), Shreyas Iyer, Rinku Singh, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammad Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Arshdeep Singh.
Venue & Expectations
South Africa has recently been a very high-scoring venue for white-ball cricket, especially T20 internationals. Durban, the host of the first T20 international is no different. The Australia v/s South Africa series held here a few months ago witnessed some high-scoring games. The spinners of both teams can prove to be the deciding factor for the first game at this venue.
Aiden Markram v/s Kuldeep Yadav
T20s: 31 runs, 18 balls 0 dismissals
Very contrasting to their odi head to head, Aiden Markram has till now been able to get the better of the left arm chinaman. It’ll be interesting to see how Markram tackles Kuldeep in this series.
David Miller v/s Ravindra Jadeja.
T20: 119 runs, 70 balls, 2 dismissals
Ever since becoming the senior-most batsman of the unit, David Miller’s career has reached new heights, as if the extra pressure of being the most experienced batter in the team brought out the best of him. In a similar vein, Ravindra Jadeja has been appointed as the vice-captain for the series. The face-off between the two t20 giants has given some battles to witness in the past. Jadeja dismissed Miller early in qualifier 1 of IPL 2023, while Miller got the better of him in the 2022 season. With his much improved and aggressive game against spin, expectations will be high from David Miller.
Dream11 Team for SA vs IND 1st T20I 2023
Note: This is not our final Dream11 Team as we are not aware of the Toss Result/Final Playing XI of both teams at this moment.
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