Players who could be in strong contention for India's T20I squad against South Africa
After the end of IPL 2022, India will be back on the international cricket circuit with the five-match home T20I series against South Africa from June 9 to 19.
With the men's T20 World Cup to be held in Australia later in the year, the series against the Proteas becomes important for the Indian team to test out combinations and see how the players are faring.
But with India having a cramped schedule after South Africa series, which includes postponed fifth Test at Edgbaston and two T20Is against Ireland clashing around the same time, followed by white-ball matches in England and West Indies, the schedule may see many regular players having their workload managed till World Cup arrives apart from Suryakumar Yadav and Deepak Chahar nursing injuries.
In this scenario, some of the performers in IPL 2022 may get a look-in for the series against South Africa, which has been the talk as far as media reports are concerned. IANS take a look at the contenders, young as well as experienced, who could get call-up to the Indian team for South Africa series: -
1. Arshdeep Singh
Numbers will say that he's picked only ten wickets in 13 matches at an economy rate of 7.82. But Arshdeep has been a standout for Punjab Kings in the death overs during IPL 2022, with his economy rate of 7.31 the best among all bowlers in this phase. With a calm head on his shoulders, ability to soak pressure of final five overs and nail his yorkers with precision, Arshdeep can find his name in the squad for series against South Africa on the back of his astute death bowling skills.
2. Tilak Varma
In a season where Mumbai Indians have been forgettable with their performances, young Varma has been a bright spot for them. Varma, who played for India in 2020 U19 World Cup, came into the tournament on the back of good performances in domestic cricket for Hyderabad. The teenager justified his Mumbai selection with a variety of eye-catchy shots and impressive temperament to amass 376 runs in 13 innings at an average of 37.60 and strike-rate of 131.46. With Rohit Sharma earmarking him to be an all-format player in the future for India, it won't be a surprise if Varma's name is in the squad for the South Africa series.
3. Rahul Tripathi
Since his entry into IPL fold in 2017, Tripathi has been a consistent name in the tournament with his hard-hitting batting skills. For Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2022, Tripathi has owned the number three spot in Hyderabad's line-up, amassing 393 runs at an average of 39.30 and strike-rate of 161.72, including three half-centuries, one of which was an enthralling 44-ball 76 against Mumbai Indians. With former India head coach Ravi Shastri advocating for him to be a back-up option for Suryakumar Yadav, Tripathi may get a look-in for the South Africa series if Yadav is still unavailable due to left forearm muscle injury.
4. Umran Malik
If there has been one person who has made watching Sunrisers Hyderabad's matches exciting in IPL 2022, it has been Jammu's tearaway pacer Umran Malik. In his first full season of IPL, Malik has kept the speed gun extremely busy with his raw pace rattling the batters, clocking speeds above 150kmph consistently while picking 21 wickets, mainly in the middle overs, at an average of 20 and economy rate of 8.93. With many experts calling for him to be fast-tracked into the Indian team, one shouldn't be taken aback if he gets a call-up for the South Africa series.
5. Mohsin Khan
Since his IPL debut in late April during the 2022 season, Mohsin has impressed cricket watchers with his economical spells, tight lengths just outside the off-stump and ability to outfox the batters, thereby taking wickets consistently for Lucknow Super Giants. In eight matches, Mohsin has picked 10 at an average of 15.20 and economy rate of just 6.08, bowling in all phases of the game, something which Indian selectors will be looking at carefully.
6. Dinesh Karthik
Bringing himself back in the reckoning has been Dinesh Karthik, whose finishing exploits for Royal Challengers Bangalore have reignited hopes for another comeback into the India T20I side. Whenever Bangalore have been in trouble during IPL 2022, Karthik has bailed them out of trouble with his playlist of finishing blitz. With 285 runs in 13 innings at an average of 57.00 and high strike-rate of 192.56, Karthik might be writing his way into another India recall, something which he has reiterated in the tournament.
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