Focus on Rishabh Pant as Arshdeep likely to get a nod in playing XI for first T20I | INDvsSA

Xtra Time Web Desk: The Indian team management should not have much selection headaches with both Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hardik Pandya being rested for the three match T20I series against Proteas staring in Trivandrum on Wednesday. Arshdeep Singh will walk in place of Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The lanky left arm quick missed the recently concluded T20I series against Australia, where India struggled with death bowling.

As far as the replacement for Hardik Pandya is concerned, the team management is left with three options with Rishabh Pant likely to be preferred over Deepak Chahar and Shreyas Iyer.

The hosts will be without Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Deepak Hooda, with Hardik and Bhuvi rested while Hooda has been ruled out due to injury. With both the all-rounders unavailable, Rohit Sharma will have to tinker with his playing XI. India can opt for just five bowlers, or opt for an extra bowling all-round option in Deepak Chahar provided he is hundred percent fit.

Should India go in with sixth bowling option, Rishabh Pant will have to sit in the dug-out. Pant had featured in the Asia Cup against Hong Kong when Hardik was rested. The wicket-keeper’s inclusion would mean that India just field five bowlers, with Axar Patel being the all-round option.

The team management would be keen to give Rishabh Pant a chance in these three T20Is before travelling to Australia for upcoming T20 World Cup 2022. Pant has lost his place to Dinesh Kartik recently but could force his way back with a couple of valuable knocks.

Here is the probable playing XI for India: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Axar Patel, Harshal Patel, Arshdeep Singh, Yuzvendra Chahal and Jasprit Bumrah