India and South Africa will face off in the first T20I at the Greenfield International Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday.
The two teams last played a five-match T20I series in June in India, which ended in a 2-2 draw.
INDIA - TEAM COMPOSITION
India is coming off a 2-1 series win against Australia at home after an underwhelming outing at the Asia Cup, where it failed to reach the final. While India’s batting remains largely untouched with the management keen to give its batters as much game time as possible ahead of the T20 World Cup, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hardik Pandya will miss the series to manage their workload. Deepak Chahar is likely to get a look-in while left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh is also expected to be a regular fixture of the Playing XI leading up to the World Cup. Considering South Africa has three left-handers in its top-seven, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin could get a game.
INDIA PREDICTED XI: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul (vc), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Dinesh Karthik, Rishabh Pant (wk), Deepak Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin/Axar Patel, Harshal Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal.
FORM GUIDE: W W L W L
SOUTH AFRICA - TEAM COMPOSITION
South Africa comes into the series on the back of a 2-0 sweep of Ireland and a 2-1 win over England in T20Is. The series will mark the return of captain Temba Bavuma, whose last match for South Africa was in June at Rajkot, where he sustained an elbow injury. Rilee Rossouw was the team’s leading run-scorer in the T20Is in England, scoring 131 runs in three innings but Bavuma is likely to pip him to the No. 3 spot. Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada will shoulder pace bowling. There might be a toss-up between Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi for a spot in the Playing XI.
SOUTH AFRICA PREDICTED XI: Reeza Hendricks, Quinton de Kock, Temba Bavuma, Rilee Rossouw, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Heinrich Klaasen, Dwaine Pretorius, Tabraiz Shamsi, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje.
FORM GUIDE: W W W W L