Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra expressed surprise over the Indian team’s selection for the second T20I against South Africa. In a departure from the previous series against Australia, Shreyas Iyer, the vice-captain in the last T20I series, was not included in the playing XI. Additionally, Ravi Bishnoi, the Player of the Series against Australia, was dropped.
Chopra, in his comment, questioned the availability of Iyer and Bishnoi, stating, “Any news on Iyer and Bishnoi’s availability?? Iyer was VC in the last series. And Bishnoi was the player of the series. I seemed to have missed something??”
India opted for the following playing XI in the second T20I:
- Yashasvi Jaiswal
- Shubman Gill
- Tilak Varma
- Suryakumar Yadav (captain)
- Rinku Singh
- Jitesh Sharma
- Ravindra Jadeja
- Kuldeep Yadav
- Mohammed Siraj
- Arshdeep Singh
- Mukesh Kumar
The surprising selection choices highlight the unpredictable nature of India’s team under coach Rahul Dravid.
In the second T20I between India and South Africa, India’s openers faced early setbacks, falling for ducks. However, Suryakumar Yadav emerged as the savior, crafting a brilliant half-century and steering the visitors to a commanding position. Yadav orchestrated crucial partnerships, first contributing to a 49-run stand for the third wicket and later forming a formidable 70-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Rinku Singh.
Despite his impactful innings of 56 runs off 36 balls, Yadav’s departure marked a pivotal moment in the game. South Africa, having won the toss and opted to bowl first, faced a resolute Indian batting performance at St George’s Park, Gqeberha.
This T20I series holds significant importance for players vying for spots in the upcoming T20 World Cup. With only a limited number of matches remaining, contenders like Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, and Hardik Pandya aim to solidify their positions. The contest against South Africa serves as a crucial audition, with Shreyas Iyer and Ravindra Jadeja expected to join the lineup for the next matches.
As the weather conditions finally allowed the much-anticipated tour to kick off, the Indian team, led by Suryakumar Yadav’s resilient performance, strives to make a lasting impact in the T20I series against South Africa.