India Playing XI vs SA: Ravi Shastri picks his Playing XI for 1st T20: Check out

India plays XI vs SA: India vs South Africa Live: With India’s best hitters unavailable, the 5-game T20 series will be a testing ground for head coach Rahul Dravid. While KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant are available, former head coach Ravi Shastri has shared his insights on the Playing XI for the 1st T20. The big surprise is that he left out Dinesh Karthik and Kuldeep Yadav. Follow IND vs SA Live Updates on InsideSport.IN.

Ravi Shastri was one of the staunch supporters of Dinesh Karthik who made a comeback in the Indian team. However, with both Rahul Dravid and the team management focused on nurturing young talent, getting Dinesh Karthik on board can be tricky.

“There’s already Rishabh Pant who can bat in the top four or five in T20 cricket, but you want someone who can hold on and finish a match because there aren’t too many finishers now with MS (Dhoni) retired. So I think his chances there are very good.” said Shastri.

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India Playing XI vs SA: Ravi Shastri picks his Playing XI for 1st T20, no seat for Dinesh Karthik & Kuldeep Yadav – Check OUT

India Playing XI vs SA: Ravi Shastri picks his Playing XI for 1st T20, no seat for Dinesh Karthik & Kuldeep Yadav - Check OUT

India Playing XI vs SA: Ravi Shastri picks his Playing XI for 1st T20, no seat for Dinesh Karthik & Kuldeep Yadav – Check OUT

Shastri has also omitted Kuldeep Yadav due to combination hurdles. With five pure hitters, India needs lower order punch depth and that’s where Axar Patel comes into play. Patel performed well for Delhi Capitals in the IPL 2022.

India plays XI vs SA 1st T20: Ravi Shashtri’s XI

1. KL Rahul
2. Ruturaj Gaikwad
3. Ishan Kishan
4. Shreyas Iyer
5. Rishabh Pant
6. Hardik Pandya
7. Axar Patel
8. Bhuvneshwar Kumari
9. Yuzvendra Chahal
10. Arshdeep Singh/Umran Malik
11. Harshal Patel

India Playing XI vs SA: Ravi Shastri picks his Playing XI for 1st T20, no seat for Dinesh Karthik & Kuldeep Yadav – Check OUT

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India Playing XI vs SA: Ravi Shastri picks his Playing XI for 1st T20, no seat for Dinesh Karthik & Kuldeep Yadav - Check OUT

But the opening combination will be the key. Without Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul will have to open with Ruturaj Gaikwad or Ishan Kishan. Of the two, Ishan is more flexible which is why Ruturaj is all set to open with Rohit. Ishan will hit at number 3 with Shreyas Iyer at number 4.

“I think they will go with the guys they want to see first – the Rahuls, the Ruturaj Gaikwads. Maybe they will open. They will probably give Ishan Kishan a break from this game or hit him on three,”

“If you beat him (Ishan) at number three, it becomes Shreyas (Iyer) at number 4, (Rishabh) Pant at number 5 and Hardik (Pandya) at number 6.”

India Playing XI vs SA: Ravi Shastri picks his Playing XI for 1st T20, no seat for Dinesh Karthik & Kuldeep Yadav – Check OUT

India Playing XI vs SA: Ravi Shastri picks his Playing XI for 1st T20, no seat for Dinesh Karthik & Kuldeep Yadav - Check OUT

As for the bowling combination, the return of Hardik Pandya is key to finding that sixth bowling option in India. While Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Harshal Patel are two first names on the team sheet for their death bowling, the choice of the third sailor will be key.

The competition for that is between three young pacesetters in Umran Malik, Arshdeep Singh and Avesh Khan. But with India wanting a death-overs specialist for the T20 World Cup, Ravi Shastri believes Arshdeep could also get a chance.

“No. 7 will be Axar Patel. I think eight will be Bhuvneshwar Kumar batting-wise, then Chahal, Arshdeep Singh/Umran Malik and Harshal Patel. Umran or Arshdeep depending on the ground and how the pitch is.

“I think if Bhuvi plays, Umran is better because Bhuvi can do a job for you at death. But again, you’re looking for someone at the death, they want to develop that bowler. So if Harshal is going to do that, he’s playing that game.”

India Playing XI vs SA: Ravi Shastri picks his Playing XI for 1st T20, no seat for Dinesh Karthik & Kuldeep Yadav – Check OUT

India Squad for South Africa: KL Rahul (Captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (Vice Captain) (World Cup), Dinesh Karthik (World Cup), Hardik Pandya, Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel , Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik

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