India vs South Africa: Test of depth in young talent as India kick off South Africa tour with T20Is

India vs South Africa: Test of depth in young talent as India kick off South Africa tour with T20Is

South Africa and India are set to assess their squad depth in two white-ball series, commencing with a Twenty20 international at Kingsmead in Durban this Sunday.
The tour comprises three T20Is followed by three one-day internationals, providing a much-needed financial boost for Cricket South Africa (CSA).

Facing financial challenges, the host nation anticipates earning over a billion rand ($53 million), predominantly from TV rights, a figure surpassing revenues from any other incoming tours.

“It will obviously help us balance the books but it is not just us, every country needs India, purely based on the broadcast revenues,” said Pholetsi Moseki, chief executive of CSA.
Both teams will face the absence of key players in the upcoming white-ball games, leading up to two World Test Championship matches later in the tour.

South Africa’s one-day and Test captain, Temba Bavuma, along with fast bowler Kagiso Rabada, will be unavailable for all the limited-overs matches. Fast bowlers Gerald Coetzee, Marco Jansen, and Lungi Ngidi are slated to participate only in the initial two T20 internationals before returning to their franchises for domestic four-day cricket in preparation for the Tests.

In the Indian camp, regular captain Rohit Sharma, former captain Virat Kohli, and the recent T20 captain Hardik Pandya will be absent from the limited-overs fixtures, with Pandya sidelined due to injury. Suryakumar Yadav, who recently led India to a 4-1 T20 series victory against Australia, will captain the T20 side, while KL Rahul will take charge for the one-day matches.

The three-match T20 series gains significance as it provides an opportunity for fringe players to make their case ahead of the T20 World Cup scheduled for June in the West Indies and the United States.
Expressing his strategy, South African white-ball coach Rob Walter emphasized the goal of building a core group of players to sustain the momentum gained in the recent Cricket World Cup, where South Africa reached the semi-finals.
“The move (to rest some players) has presented opportunities for others who have been performing well on domestic level,” said Walter.
India showcased remarkable performance in the 50-overs World Cup, reaching the final but ultimately losing to Australia.

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However, their T20 side is currently less stable, although World Cup standouts such as Shubman Gill, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, and Mohammed Siraj are making a comeback to the format after being rested during the series against Australia.
T20 squads
South Africa: Aiden Markram (capt), Ottniel Baartman, Matthew Breetzke, Nandre Burger, Gerald Coetzee, Donovan Ferreira, Reeza Hendricks, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen (wkt), David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi, Tristan Stubbs, Lizaad Williams
India: Suryakumar Yadav (capt), Ravindra Jadeja (vice-capt), Ravi Bishnoi, Deepak Chahar, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ishan Kishan (wkt), Mukesh Kumar, Jitesh Sharma (wkt), Arshdeep Singh, Mohammed Siraj, Rinku Singh, Washington Sundar, Tilak Varma, Kuldeep Yadav

Limited-overs fixtures
Dec 10, 1st T20I, Durban
Dec 12, 2nd T20I, Gqeberha
Dec 14, 3rd T20I, Johannesburg
Dec 17, 1st ODI, Johannesburg
Dec 19, 2nd ODI, Gqeberha
Dec 21, 3rd ODI, Paarl

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