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Predicted India Playing XI vs South Africa

After registering a 16-run win in the second game in Assam to seal the series, a pumped up team India will now lock horns with South Africa in the final T20I at the Holkar Stadium in Indore on Tuesday, October 4.

While the Men in Blue will be hoping to register a clean sweep, the Proteas will look to sign off with a consolation win. With an almost clinical win in the second T20I, India’s unbeaten run in T20I bilateral series continues to go from strength to strength. The streak started after the conclusion of T20 World Cup 2021 and remains intact while South Africa’s unbeaten streak (T20Is) came to an end.

Even though the hosts have won the series, they still need to work a lot on their death bowling heading into the T20 World Cup later this month. They will hope that the likes of Harshal Patel and Arshdeep Singh provide breakthroughs and contain runs at the death.

Without further ado, here’s a look at India’s predicted XI for the third T20I:

 Openers: Rohit Sharma (c) and KL Rahul

After getting dismissed for a silver duck in the series opener, skipper Rohit Sharma roared back to form in the second game with a superb knock of 43 runs from 37 balls. While the ‘Hitman’ missed out on a well-deserved half-century, he helped India in laying a solid foundation with a 96-run opening stand along with vice-captain KL Rahul.

KL Rahul, who scored a match-winning fifty on a tough Thiruvanathapuram wicket in the first game, maintained his consistent run in the second game and went after the Proteas bowlers right from the word ‘go’. He scored a 28-ball 57 and will now hope to register a third successive half-century in the series.

Middle-Order: Virat, Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), and Dinesh Karthik

After a forgettable outing in the series opener, batting megastar Virat Kohli succeeded in making his bat do the talking in the second game as he contributed with an unbeaten 49-run knock off 28 balls. Kohli was involved in a 102-run stand for the third wicket with Suryakumar Yadav and played a good supporting role.

Suryakumar registered his third consecutive T20I half-century in a week and there was no stopping him in the all-important second game either as his counter-attacking knock left the South African bowlers shell-shocked. He scored an 18-ball 50 and looked dangerous in the middle before a run out brought an abrupt end to his innings as he scored 61 runs off 22 balls. 

Rishabh Pant is yet to be challenged in this series as far as his batting is concerned and he would be geared up to prove a point or two if he gets a chance to bat in the third T20I. He will be hoping to get some much-needed batting time in the middle heading into the T20 World Cup.

Dinesh Karthik proved to be the difference in the 2nd T20I as his crucial runs at the death powered India to a mammoth 237/3 which eventually helped them in registering a 16-run victory. The veteran will be expected to play yet another game-changing knock in the final game. 

All-Rounders: Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin

While Axar Patel is known as a handy lower-order batter capable of scoring some precious runs towards the fag end, he looked a bit off-coloured in the last game with the ball in hand. While the southpaw did pick up the wicket of a well-set Aiden Markram, he proved to be very expensive and was clobbered by David Miller and Quinton de Kock for huge sixes in the final over. 

On the other hand, Ravichandran Ashwin also has the reputation of scoring some vital runs lower down the order and provide handy breakthroughs with his off spin. However, just like Axar, even Ashwin could not make the ball do the talking as he went wicketless conceding 37 runs in his quota of four overs at an economy rate of 9.25. 

Bowlers: Harshal Patel, Deepak Chahar and Arshdeep Singh

Harshal Patel had another off day on a typical batting surface as he looked clueless with the ball. The medium-pacer went wicketless conceding 45 runs at an unimpressive economy of 11.25 in his four overs.

Deepak Chahar bowled an outstanding maiden over to Proteas skipper Temba Bavuma upfront and kept the run flow in check on a tough bowling surface. Though he didn’t pick any wicket, but conceded just 24 runs at an economy rate of 6.00.

On the other hand, Arshdeep Singh was the pick of the bowlers for India (in terms of wickets), but was the most expensive one as well as he conceded 26 runs in the penultimate over. He finished with figures of 2/62 in his four overs at an economy rate of 15.50.

India’s Predicted XI:

Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Dinesh Karthik, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Harshal Patel, Deepak Chahar, Arshdeep Singh

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