IND vs SA: The first of the five T20Is between India and South Africa is scheduled for June 9 in Delhi; the matches come thick and fast as the series will conclude on June 19 in Bangalore. The Indian selectors have rested Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami while Suryakumar Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja will miss the series due to injuries.
The absence of these players has made way for others to get some game time and showcase their form. However, for a few players, this – the IND vs SA series – could well be their last chance to make a case to be in the squad for the T20 World Cup.
Here are 3 players who have to perform well to be in radar for the T20 World Cup team:
After a stunning season last year – when he ended up as the Orange Cap winner in CSK‘s title win – bigger things were expected from Ruturaj Gaikwad this year. However, the CSK opener was an almost no-show for the first half of the season before getting his mojo back in the second half.
Gaikwad finished with 368 runs at an average of 26 while striking at 126 with three fifties – mediocre numbers for his own potential. The selectors and management have shown more faith in having Ishan Kishan as the backup opener, so the IND vs SA series is crucial for Gaikwad.
Similar to Gaikwad, Venkatesh Iyer also got into the Indian team on the back of his thunderous show last year for KKR and filled the void of the injured Hardik Pandya. While now Pandya is back in form – in the IPL 2022 proving why he has a high ceiling – on the flip side, Venkatesh Iyer had a disappointing season, scoring 182 runs at a strike rate of 107 and was even dropped for a couple of games.
Opportunities for Axar Patel in India’s white-ball teams have been few and far between – he’s played in 53 limited-overs games for India despite having made his ODI debut in 2014.
The key reason for this is Ravindra Jadeja who has been the premier spin-bowling all-rounder for a decade now; that Jadeja is also a left-arm spinner and a lower-order batter – and a better one than Axar – has hurt the latter’s selection, especially outside Asia.
Axar had a decent IPL for the Delhi Capitals – 6 wickets in 13 matches but at a terrific economy of 7.46 and struck 182 runs at a strike rate of 151. The IND vs SA series for the all-rounder is vital in Jadeja’s absence who will take back his place once fit.