India and South Africa will face each other in the second T20I of the five-match series at Barabati Stadium on Sunday. The Rishabh Pant-led side had lost the first game by seven wickets, even after posting 211/4 in 20 overs. A subpar performance with the ball cost the hosts a lot of money and the Proteas chased 212 with seven wickets in hand and five balls left. Harshal Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Avesh Khan were unable to execute their Yorkers in the death overs, so David Miller and Rassie van der Dussen made them pay. So it would be interesting to see if the hosts make any changes to their line-up, with players like Arshdeep Singh and Umran Malik back in the wings.
Here’s what we think India’s playing XI should be for the second T20I against South Africa:
Ishan Kishan: The left-handed batter was at his best in the first T20I when he scored a rapid fire of 76, putting spinners and sailors alike at ease. With the T20 World Cup being played this year, he would like to make a strong case for his inclusion in the squad.
Ruturaj Gaikwad: The righthander found it difficult at first because he couldn’t turn the trick. He scored 23 runs off 15 balls using three sixes, but would hope to run the strike more often to keep the number of dots down.
Shreyas Iyer: He might have scored 36 runs in the first T20I, but the troubles against sailors were out there for all to see. The likes of Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada are expected to test him with bouncers, so it would be interesting to see how Shreyas fares.
Rishabh Pant: The skipper played a quick knock in the first T20I, scoring 29 from 16 balls. The batter already has the arsenal to get going from ball number one, so it would be interesting to see his approach.
Hardik Pandya: The casual all-rounder was at his best in the first game and he gave the innings a flourishing finish. However, with the ball, he gave up 18 runs in the lone left he threw. So it has to be seen how Pant Pandya uses the bowler.
Dinesh Karthik: The veteran didn’t have much to do in the first game as he only hit for two balls. He was hoping to get more hitting time to use the form he showed in the IPL for RCB.
Axar Patel: The left arm spinner allowed 40 runs in his four overs and picked one wicket. He has a knack for wicket to wicket bowling and if there is any help for the spinners in Cuttack, Axar would be a handful to deal with.
Harshal Patel: The death-over specialist made a mistake in his line and length in the 17th over of the last game when Rassie van der Dussen knocked him out for 22 runs. The slower balls weren’t executed well and Harshal was hoping for some change in fortune.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar: The veteran bowler started well in the power play, conceding just seven runs in two overs. But when he passed away, he was fooled by Miller and van der Dussen. He would hope for a better showing at death.
Yuzvendra Chahal: Rishabh Pant used the Purple Cap winner of this IPL for just 2.1 overs, giving up 26 runs. The crafty spinner would hope to roll his full quota of four overs to leave a lasting impression on the game.
Avesh Khan: Avesh Khan conceded 35 runs in four overs and was the most economical of the early sailors. There would be a temptation to try Arshdeep as he bowls exceptionally well to death, but knowing how head coach Rahul Dravid continues to talk about roster consistency it’s hard to see Arshdeep coming in for the second T20I.