After the first match of the series was washed out, the action has now shifted to Mohali for the second T20I. All eyes will be on the weather and according to the forecast, rains should stay away. It looks like a full match is in store for the viewers, which bodes well for both sides as they look to identify players for the T20 World Cup next year.
South Africa is the underdog, but the Indian team will not take them lightly. Both coach Ravi Shastri and captain Virat Kohli have stressed on the need for players to identify and make use of the limited opportunities which will come their way, which will help them lead up to the World Cup.
Pant, young bowlers under the scanner
Rishabh Pant's form and his temperament have been a big talking point in the recent past and as per the management, the young man needs to be more aware of the game scenario and then play his strokes. How this series pans out for Pant might well determine his future with the Indian team.
The other players who will be expected to step up are Rahul Chahar and Washington Sundar as the Indian selectors have decided to give them a long rope in a bid to find balance leading up to the World Cup next year. They have taken the place of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav and as per Kohli, this was done in order to enhance the batting depth of the Indian side.
Shreyas Iyer and Manish Pandey will be the other batsmen under the scanner as they have been identified by the new batting coach Vikram Rathour to be the solution to the ever-evolving conundrum around the middle order. Considering the form and pedigree, the side might give Manish Pandey a go in Mohali, but it remains to be seen who gets the nod.
However, the going might not be as easy for the batting side as the South African bowling attack led by Kagiso Rabada have the pedigree and skillsets to contain the power-packed Indian batting. Also, in Quinton de Kock and David Miller, the visitors have more than an effective batting order to topple India on a surface which is expected to be a belter for the batsmen.
The surface at Mohali has always been a paradise for the batsmen as it has true bounce and carry which is great for the stroke makers and hence, it might well be a shootout between both the batting sides which also puts the bowling attacks under a lot of pressure.
The match begins at 7:00 PM IST under clear skies and rain is expected to stay away for the entire duration of the match.
India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Rahul Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini
South Africa: Quinton de Kock (c), Rassie van der Dussen (vc), Temba Bauvma, Junior Dala, Bjorn Fortuin, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, David Miller, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukyao, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, George Linde