The BCCI will announce the Indian squad for the South Africa T20I series on Sunday, May 22. The Men in Blue will return to international duties with a five-match T20I series against the Proteas which will be played from June 9 to June 19.
The venues chosen for the matches are New Delhi, Cuttack, Visakhapatnam, Rajkot, and Bengaluru. And the BCCI has allowed 100% capacity crowds at these venues.
With the Indian team also scheduled to fly to England for the one Test, 3 ODIs, and 3 T20I series shortly, the BCCI wants to give the first-choice players like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, and Jasprit Bumrah, and a couple of others some weeks of rest.
These rested players and other Test specialists will be traveling to England in mid-June and hence it is expected that a new-look India squad will be selected for South Africa T20Is. It is also possible that this same squad might travel to Ireland for the two-T20I matches.
Keeping this in mind, here is the COC Predicted Indian squad for the South Africa T20I series.
Starting with the options for captaincy, it is widely expected that either Shikhar Dhawan or Hardik Pandya will lead the Indian team in place of Rohit Sharma. Shikhar has previously captained India on its tour of Sri Lanka in July 2021.
However, Hardik Pandya has impressed one and all with his leadership for Gujarat Titans (GT) in the IPL 2022, as they were the first team to qualify for the playoffs and finished the league stage with 10 wins in 14 matches.
Also that Hardik Pandya returned to bowling his full quota of 4 overs in multiple matches, was a sight for sore eyes for his fans and BCCI.
Suryakumar Yadav might also get picked, but after suffering a forearm injury to his left hand, his selection might be subjected to his fitness.
The BCCI might continue with Ishan Kishan as the opener and keeper, despite his performance in the IPL 2022, while choosing Sanju Samson as the other keeper. Rahul Tripathi and Deepak Hooda have done extremely well for their respective franchises, with Tripathi being the top-scorer for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2022, with one more match to go.
A surprise pick for the South Africa T20Is could be Dinesh Karthik who has been in terrific form for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as a finisher, scoring 287 runs in 14 matches in league stages at an average of 57.40 and strike rate of 191.33. He hit 21 sixes and 22 fours. He will be in contention for the finisher’s role with Hardik Pandya.
For the spin all-rounder’s spots, Washington Sundar and Krunal Pandya might be in contention while Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal will be most expected to be reunited once more.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Harshal Patel might be front-runners for leading the Indian pace attack with Arshdeep Singh being the left-arm pacer option and the young pace sensation Umran Malik tearing it up.
Also expected to retain his place in the Indian squad is Avesh Khan, who had a brilliant outing for Lucknow Super Giants.
COC Predicted Indian Team squad:
Shikhar Dhawan, Ishan Kishan (WK), Suryakumar Yadav (subject to fitness), Sanju Samson (WK), Rahul Tripathi, Dinesh Karthik (WK), Hardik Pandya (C), Deepak Hooda, Washington Sundar, Krunal Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Harshal Patel, Umran Malik, Arshdeep Singh, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan