The much-awaited India-South Africa series has kick started at the picturesque HPCA stadium in Dharamsala as the Men in Blue face the Proteas in the first T20 match of the three-match series. It's a great opportunity for both the teams to get used to the 20-over cricket under Indian conditions as the T20 World Cup in slated to be India, next year. Hopefully it is going to be a cracking contest as the upbeat hosts take on the formidable Proteas.
Let us take a look at the five Indian players whom the South Africans should watch out for:
1) Mahendra Singh Dhoni
When it comes to limited overs, Dhoni is undoubtedly one of the game-changers of modern cricket. Gifted with an icy cool and calm brain, innovative thinking, incredible leadership qualities and remarkable batting skills, Mahi will be definitely be the prime man to watch out for in the T20 matches as he is again back at the helm to lead India against South Africa.
2) Virat Kohli
The flambouyant vice-captain of the Indian T20 squad is a mixture of pure talent and intense aggression and is a firebrand on the cricket field. The amount of destruction he is capable of doing with his bat, he can do the same with his words, looks and gestures. He is currently one of the best batsmen in world cricket and how he performs will certainly draw the margins between the two teams.
3) Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma is always dangerous whenever India is playing on home soil, especially in limited overs cricket. It's not that he is very consistent with his batting form on a regular basis, but on his day, he can single-handedly crush the rival bowlers. He comes to open the innings for India, which gives him the perfect platform to set his game initially. Once he is set, he can become any bowler's deadly nightmare.
4) Suresh Raina
Raina not only offers immense stability in the middle and lower-middle order of the Indian batting line up, but now he has transformed himself into a dependable all-rounder in the Indian team. He knows how to adjust himself with the pace of the game while batting. A superb fielder, Dhoni can always rely on his slow off-spin if circumstances go really desperate.
5) Ravichandran Ashwin
With the mighty South African batting line-up consisting of names like AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis and David Miller, Ashwin's spin bowling is definitely going to make a huge difference in T20 matches. In the recent times, Ashwin has been the strike bowler for India in all the formats and his spin will play a crucial role in stopping the mighty Proteas batting line-up over-running the Indian bowlers. Packed with a wide range of deliveries under his sleeves, from carrom ball to regular off-spin, Ashwin's habit of clinching wickets at regular intervals is definitely going to come in handy.
By Dipayan Saha