India, South Africa out to apply finishing touches to World Cup preparation

Deepak Hooda has been sidelined from the upcoming South Africa tour of India after sustaining a back injury. The all-rounder is at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore for further management of his injury. Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have also reported to the NCA for conditioning-related work while Arshdeep Singh has joined the squad in Thiruvananthapuram.

Mohammad Shami is yet to recover fully from COVID-19 and will not feature in the three-match T20I series. The selection panel has named Umesh Yadav as Shami’s replacement and Shreyas Iyer as a replacement for Hooda. Shahbaz Ahmed has also been added to the T20I squad that will take on the Proteas, who boast of an undefeated record in T20Is against the hosts in India.

India squad for South Africa T20Is: Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), R. Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Arshdeep Singh, Harshal Patel, Deepak Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Shahbaz Ahmed.

India will be looking to apply the finishing touches to their T20 World Cup 2022 preparation in the three-match series against South Africa, beginning in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday, September 28. You can follow the live cricket score here. India skipper Rohit Sharma, along expected lines, singled out death bowling as an area that requires improvement following the series win over Australia.

Harshal Patel had a less-than-desirable comeback series against Australia but he has been backed by the skipper to get back to his best in the final three games before the World Cup. His career economy rate stands at 9.05 but he conceded more than 12 runs per overs against Australia.

Deepak Chahar, who has picked among the three standbys for the Word Cup, did not get a game in the previous rubber and could get a chance if the team decides to shuffle its pacers around over the three games. Arshdeep Singh will return to add variety to the team’s resources in the slog overs, making a potent combination alongside Jasprit Bumrah, the pace bowling spearhead.

In the series decider last week, Yuzvendra Chahal reinstated the fact that he flourishes when the ball is gripping and turning after being off the boil in the first two games. Keeping the Australian conditions in mind, the crafty leggie will be aiming to fine-tune his performance on docile pitches. As Rohit spoke about the importance of giving all the players game-time ahead of the marquee event, Ravichandran Ashwin could get a look in. In the batting department, KL Rahul would like to hit top gear after underwhelming returns in the last two matches against Australia.