T20I World Cup 2022:   3 Team India Players For Whom South Africa Series Will Be Crucial

Image Credits:  ICC/Twitter

After trouncing Australia 2-1, India will now face South Africa in the first T20I of the three-match series, on 28 September. This will be the last bilateral series before the T20I World Cup. 

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Team India will look to arrive at the final combination for the tournament. While the majority of the cricketers select themselves in the playing XI, there are few whose fate depends on how they fare in the T20I series against South Africa.

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We take a look at three such players whose performances in the South Africa series will determine their fate for the T20I World Cup.

Image Credits: R Ashwin/Twitter

R AshwinR Ashwin didn't get an opportunity to play even a single game against Australia. But he is likely to play all three games against South Africa, ahead of either Yuzvendra Chahal or Axar Patel.

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Ashwin has been among the most frugal spinners since the last year's World Cup. If he walks out of the series with a decent economy and a few wickets to his name, he may rise over Chahal in the pecking order.

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Harshal PatelHarshal Patel made his comeback earlier this month against Australia. He looked rusty in each of the three games, and leaked too many runs in the death overs.

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With Arshdeep back in the squad, Harshal needs to bring his A-game to cement his place in the playing XI for the World Cup. If there's no improvement in his death overs bowling, India may go ahead with Bumrah, Arshdeep, and Bhuvneshwar.

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Rishabh PantRishabh Pant is no longer a certain starter in T20I. Dinesh Karthik is now preferred to play the role of a finisher, and he hasn't disappointed either. But there's still a possibility of Pant's comeback.

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Pant is likely to walk into the playing XI for these three matches, in place of Hardik Pandya. If he manages to play significant knocks, Team India will consider him for the World Cup, as he is the only left-handed batter in the team.