- Feb 25, 2024
- Sep 22, 2023
In a massive blow to India, the in-form captain KL Rahul has been ruled out of the five-match T20I series against South Africa with a right groin injury. Rishabh Pant, the Delhi captain, has been named as the replacement skipper along with Hardik Pandya as the Vice-captain. With the injury of the Mangalore-born batter, team management has found themselves scratching their head for a proper replacement for the opening role. All of India’s current options in Ishan Kishan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Venkatesh Iyer have struggled in the recently concluded Indian T20 League adding more weight to the selection dilemma.
Bowling, on the other hand, offers a very different kind of conundrum. The bowling department is stacked with in-form players raring for an opportunity. The debutants Umran Malik, Avesh Khan, and Arshdeep Singh are all deserving of a place in the starting 11 but there is only one spot left in the team.
The Indian coach and former batter, Rahul Dravid have offered some clarity to the situation by revealing that it would be one of Avesh Khan or Arshdeep Singh who would get a chance in the curtain-raiser match.
“We just have to see how much playing time we will be able to give him. We have a big squad, not possible to have everyone in the playing XI. He is exciting, certainly bowls quick, and has pace,” Rahul Dravid said about the sensational Umran Malik ahead of the first match.
The selection perplexity does not just end there, it also extends to the middle order now that Dinesh Karthik and Hardik Pandya play at the same position. India will have to let go of a top-order batsman or a fast bowler, most likely Avesh Khan, to fit the hard-hitting duo of Karthik and Pandya.
India starts their international cricket campaign against South Africa in Arun Jaitley Stadium Delhi on June 9th.