After the first T20I ended in a washout, India would be itching to get on to the field against a new-look South Africa for their first home fixture since March 2019.
India v South Africa, 2nd T20I
Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali
Wednesday, 18 September; 07:00pm local time, 01:30pm GMT
In an attempt to groom new talent before next year's ICC Men's T20 World Cup, India have persisted with Rahul and Deepak Chahar, Washington Sundar and Krunal Pandya for the series against South Africa. While Hardik Pandya has made a return after being rested for the West Indies tour, regulars such as Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and MS Dhoni are not a part of the 15-man set-up.
Rishabh Pant will be India's wicket-keeper batsman once again, and as pointed out by his head coach and captain, will be expected to make better decisions at the crease. India's wrist-spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have been left out to strengthen the lower-order batting.
South Africa will hope to start their new era with a win against a strong Indian unit. With Quinton de Kock in charge, Anrich Nortje, Temba Bavuma, Junior Dala, Beuran Hendricks and Jon-Jon Smuts, who were not a part of the 2019 World Cup, have all been included with an eye on testing their credentials.
Remember the last time
Forties from Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina, followed by two scalps from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, helped India claim a seven-run victory in Cape Town in February 2018. JP Duminy made a fighting 55 for the hosts, while Christiaan Jonker made an impressive debut with a 24-ball 49. The last time the teams met in any international fixture was at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019, when South Africa were kept to 227/9. India chased it down with six wickets to spare, courtesy Rohit Sharma's 122*.
What they said
Virat Kohli, India captain: "There are a lot of T20s and Tests before the T20 World Cup next year and we are pushing youngsters into the system at every possible chance because it is important to finalise on a system."
David Miller, South Africa batsman: "Quinton has been around for many years, and he's got an incredible cricket brain. It's exciting times – new skipper, new players and a lot of young, fresh faces."
The weather forecast for Mohali is more positive than it was for Dharamsala, and clear skies are expected. The PCA stadium has seen big T20I totals over the last few years – the lowest team total at the venue is 158/5.
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