Team India made a great comeback in the T20I series against South Africa and tied the series 2-2 after losing the first two games. The Rishabh Pant-led team remained unchanged over the four games, as it bounced back with a 48-point win over the Proteas in Vizag and outclassed the South African side by 82 runs in the fourth game at the SCA Stadium in Rajkot.
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A number of former cricketers, as well as many fans, were astonished at India’s reluctance to make changes to the XI, even after losing in the second T20I. After the win in the third game, former Indian cricketers Ashish Nehra and Aakash Chopra had suggested dropping Avesh Khan from the XI but team management stuck with him and reaped the rewards in Rajkot as Avesh registered a score of 4/18 in four overs. †
Ahead of the Rajkot T20I, former India batting coach Sanjay Bangar made an interesting observation about the party’s unchanged teams in the series as the talk focused on India’s upcoming T20I series against Ireland and the preparations for the T20 World cup.
Bangar said there may be new faces on the Indian team for the Ireland series, but the intention of choosing them is to familiarize them with the pressures of international cricket.
“I think Umran Malik was brought into the squad, for example, to familiarize him with the atmosphere in the dressing room and how an international team functions. Because IPL is ultimately a domestic competition and international cricket is a step further. So there are some players selected to give them that experience,” Bangar said Star sports.
The former Indian batter went on to say he believes BCCI has already shortlisted their 17-18-man squad for the T20 World Cup, given the pattern of the elves playing lately. A number of first-team stars such as captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah have been given a rest for the series, while Suryakumar Yadav and KL Rahul have had to miss due to injury.
“I believe that the 11 players who have played in this series so far, and the first team players who have been rested, I think those 17-18 players are already shortlisted (for the T20 World Cup- selection),” Bangar said. †