India vs South Africa: 5 key player battles to watch during the T20I series

South Africa led by Temba Bavuma will face Team India in a 5-match T20I series at home.

Arun Jaitley Stadium in Stadium will host the opening match on June 9, where the hosts will attempt to achieve an all-time 13-0 T20I winning record and aspire to become all-time greats in this format prior to the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2022.

Following a two-month long Indian Premier League (IPL), several big guns have been rested, so the team is led by KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant will be his deputy. Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik have returned to the Indian squad after quite a long break, adding more firepower.

To end India’s winning streak, the Proteas will put their best foot forward. Here are five key battles to keep an eye out for before the high-voltage series begins.

Anrich Nortje and Rishabh Pant.

In the upcoming T20I series, Rishabh Pant’s aggressive intent could face off against the pace of Anrich Nortje. Having finished the season with 340 runs at an average of 30.91 and a strike rate of 151.79, the Delhi Capitals captain will certainly want to push his performance even further. The addition of Nortje in the middle order adds more steal to the batting department, but the wicketkeeper-batsman will have to handle the pace of Nortje. He has been hampered by several injuries during his time with DC under the leadership of Pant. He did, however, pick up nine wickets during the six matches he played in the IPL 2022 and would be eager to match that in the T20I series and against the IPL captain.

The match between KL Rahul and Kagiso Rabada

Kagiso Rabada and KL Rahul have both enjoyed great IPL 2022 performances. Rahul ended his remarkable season with 616 runs at an average of 51.33 and a strike rate of 135.38 while leading debutants Lucknow Super Giants. Rabada, meanwhile, destroyed parties with 23 wickets in 13 matches at an economy rate of 8.46. Rahul has shown tremendous resilience at the crease as has Rabada with his precision toe crushers and ability to mix up his deliveries. Rabada sent Rahul back early in the innings in match 42 of the IPL 2022, where Rabada defeated Team India’s swashbuckling batsman. Rahul will have the chance to redeem himself and settle the score!

the chance to redeem himself and settle the score!

Rahul will have the chance to redeem himself and settle the score

the chance to redeem himself and settle the score!

Quinton de Kock vs Bhuvneshwar Kumar

The IPL 2022 season couldn’t have been better for South Africa’s wicketkeeper-batsman. QDK provided much-needed stability to the Lucknow Super Giants top order, scoring 508 runs at an average of 36.29 and a strike rate of 148.97. Similarly, Bhuvneshwar Kumar may end up wanting a little more from the IPL, taking 12 wickets in 14 games with an economy rate of 7.34, but he wants to leave his past behind him and will try to level up his performance and beset Quinton de Kock with his bowling. The opening overs specially will be something to watch. With Bhuvi trying to get the ball swinging both ways, he could pose a challenge to Quinton. De Kock, meanwhile, will want to take his IPL form into the series.

Temba Bavuma vs Yuzvendra Chahal

Despite facing a stiff challenge from the hosts, Temba Bavuma will have to deal with spin wizard, Yuzvendra Chahal, who will be leading the team. In 17 games, Chahal claimed 27 wickets with an economy rate of 7.75 to win the Purple Cap for the IPL 2022. Chahal would like to continue to dominate Bavuma in his prime.

Harshal Patel vs. David Miller

David Miller was a key player for the title-winning Gujarat Titans in the IPL 2022. During the IPL 2022 season, Miller scored 481 runs at an average of 68.71 and a strike rate of 142.73. In the middle order he will face pace bowler Harshal Patel, who took 19 wickets at an economy of 7.66. So it will be exciting to watch whether ‘Killer Miller’ dominates his show or can Harshal outfox his South Africa batting opponent.