India announce squad for South Africa T20Is; Shami returns
Team India have announced a 15-man squad for the three-match T20I series against South Africa, starting September 28. Thiruvananthapuram, Guwahati, and Indore will host the 20-over fixtures respectively. Seamer Mohammed Shami, who last played a T20I during the 2021 T20 World Cup, has made the cut for the SA series too, besides featuring in the squad for the Australia T20Is starting a week prior.
India's squad for South Africa T20Is
India's squad for South Africa T20Is: Rohit Sharma (captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Arshdeep Singh, Mohammed Shami, Harshal Patel, Deepak Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah.
India enjoy a slender lead over SA (T20Is)
India own an 11-8 win-loss record in T20Is against the Proteas. Interestingly, the Men in Blue are yet to win a series versus SA at home. The hosts suffered a 2-0 defeat in 2015, followed by a series draw in 2019 (1-1) and 2022 (2-2).
Hardik and Bhuvneshwar won't play SA T20I series
A statement by the BCCI confirmed that Hardik, Arshdeep, and Bhuvneshwar will "be reporting to the National Cricket Academy (NCA) for conditioning-related work during the course of the home series against Australia and South Africa". Hardik and Bhuvi will feature in the Australia series, commencing on September 20, but will skip the SA T20Is scheduled later.
Skipper Rohit leads the scoring charts against SA
Rohit Sharma is the highest run-getter in India-SA T20I duels. The prolific batter has amassed 362 runs at 32.90, including a hundred and two fifties. Suresh Raina (339), JP Duminy (295), and Virat Kohli (254) follow suit. Meanwhile, wicket-keeper batter Ishan Kishan has thumped the most runs in a series (206 runs at 41.20). Shikhar Dhawan (143) and Quinton de Kock (131) trail him.
Bhuvneshwar has been a nuisance for SA
As stated, Bhuvneshwar won't feature in the SA T20Is. Despite that, he remains the highest wicket-taker in India-SA encounters. The T20 specialist has clipped 14 scalps at 17.00. He was adjudged Player of the Series in June. Harshal Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal have pocketed seven scalps each. Also, Bhuvneshwar is the joint-highest wicket-taker in a series alongside Harshal (7).
Can Shami succeed in the T20I set-up?
Shami, who can swing the ball either way, recorded commendable numbers in IPL 2022. As per ESPNcricinfo, he pocketed 11 scalps and bowled the second-most dot balls in PP (140), ranking behind Trent Boult (146). However, the right-armer has 18 T20I scalps at an economy of 9.54. He will have to ace his return in the Australia series and build on it.
Samson fails to make the cut
Sanju Samson had a commanding season with the bat in IPL 2022. The stylish batter amassed 458 runs while striking in excess of 145. He pummelled 43 fours and 26 sixes. He then batted well in Ireland (42-ball 77) and West Indies (30* and 15). In spite of these performances, the right-hander failed to make the cut for Australia and SA series.