India’s tour of South Africa will solve THESE crucial T20 World Cup 2024 questions

India vs South Africa: Suryakumar Yadav-led Team India is all set to start its South Africa tour from Sunday with the first T20 international scheduled at Hollywoodbets Kingsmead Stadium in Durban. The young Indian cricket team will enter the fields with some high confidence as they comprehensively defeated world champions Australia 4-1 in the 5-match T20 series in India. But, the team is well aware that conditions will not favour them abroad and the T20 series is going to crucial ahead of the T20 World Cup 2024.

The South Africa tour is one of India’s very limited chances to play T20 internationals as a team. In January, they will play a T20 series against Afghanistan in India and that would be their last series as a team before the Indian Premier League (IPL). The T20 World Cup is scheduled for June 2024 in the United States and West Indies.

The Opener Question

Since November 2022, Rohit Sharma has not played any T20 match for India and his hiatus continues as he is not playing in the white ball formats in South Africa. Although BCCI sources claim that Sharma has been asked to continue as Indian skipper in the T20 World Cup, the suspense over his decision is clear in the air.

Apart from the skipper, India is faced with three more wonderful options for the opening position. Shubman Gill has shown in class in the T20 format but didn’t have a very great time in the ICC World Cup 2023. Yashasvi Jaiswal and Ruturaj Gaikwad gave some strong performances for India in the Australia series. While Gaikwad showed calmness and his ability to amass big runs, Jaiswal displayed attacking cricket as he finished the series with a strike rate of 168.29.

The opener question will haunt India till the T20 World Cup 2023 and the South Africa series will have some clarity or answers for the Indian team.

The ‘Unguaranteed’ Kohli

A recent report by news Dainik Jagran quoted BCCI sources claiming that the spot of Virat Kohli is not guaranteed in the T20 World Cup 2024 squad. The former India skipper has also not issued any clarity over his future plans about the white ball format of the game, but it seems clear that he is no longer the first choice in the T20 team.

Moreover, BCCI is more interested in observing Ishan Kishan playing at number 3. The report added that the cricket board wants an attacking player in the batting position, something that Kishan has shown time and again. Ishan Kishan is a very flexible option as the young batter has shown the ability to perform at different positions.

Finish for Rinku Singh?

In the past year, one player who emerged as a perfect finisher is Rinku Singh. The young player stole the limelight for his five terrific sixes in IPL and has been a sensation since then. During the Australia series, he displayed his potential as a finisher and slammed 13 fours and 4 sixes. But, lately, another young player is making headlines and as per experts, Jitesh Sharma might turn out to be a good competitor against Rinku Singh.

In the Australia series, Jitesh Sharma played just two matches but impressed with his big shots. His strike rate of 168.57 strike rate stood out as his 4 sixes in the series.

The Spin Magic

Kuldeep Yadav has been absolutely phenomenal for India this year, especially in the Asia Cup 2023 and ICC World Cup 2023. But recently, another Indian spinner Ravi Bishnoi is making some headlines for himself. The young leg spinner is now the world’s number 1 T20 spinner as he surpassed Afghanistan’s magical spinner Rashid Khan. In the Australia series, Ravi Bishnoi bowled some tight spells and successfully clinched a wicket in the first powerplay of every match.

 

 

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Published: 09 Dec 2023, 03:02 PM IST

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