India vs South Africa, 1st T20I: Virat Kohli and some young people begin the preparation of the World T20
DHARAMSHALA: virat Kohli He will venture into the unknown with a clean slate, where a few experienced hands will support a group of immensely talented youngsters, in their quest for the T20 world title that begins with a three-way bilateral series against South Africa on Sunday.
The 3-0 series victory against West Indians could be called a precursor, as it was just after enduring a disappointing end to their ODI World Cup campaign.
The real battle begins now with this series against Quinton de Kocks and Kagiso Rabadas, who are also in the midst of a difficult transition phase.
A good spell of Rabada or a cameo by David Miller could pose a challenge for the Indians, while some of the others, such as test specialist Temba Bavuma or Anrich Nortje, will want to prove their credentials in the absence of Faf du Plessis or Hashim Amla .
There will be about 20 odd matches for Captain Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri to build an almost perfect match for the T20 World Cup in Australia in October next year.
There are many questions that the team management will have to answer in the next 13 months during which IPL will also take place.
Save Kohli, your assistant Rohit Sharma, all terrain Hardik Pandya and first pacemaker Jasprit Bumrah (rested for this series), at least seven slot machines to play XI and four more on the 15-member team are at stake, with some bold steps on the cards.
Retirement is the individual call of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, but does the team management intend to look forward as the selection committee does?
It is not yet known and the indiscretions of Rishabh Pant do not make it easier for Kohli and Shastri.
Manish Pandey has been around for years and, despite the kind of quality he possesses, the Karnataka hitter has not inspired the greatest confidence in the possibilities he has.
So, will Pandey be in n. 4 or the captain of Delhi Capitals, Shreyas Iyer, who was in good shape during the Windies one day?
The other fascinating aspect will be the future of spin twins Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, at least in the shorter version.
Rahul Chahar, who spins his legs in Rajasthan, is a young talent and is announced as one for the future.
And with the all-terrain Krunal Pandya it is also forming well and Ravindra Jadeja's experience will be useful, where does the duo of doll turns very requested, which had replaced Ravichandran Ashwin and Jadeja (for the most part) after the Champions Trophy 2017
Not forgetting, India has a backup spinner in the young Washington Sundar, who in his days U-19 was a top-hitter. So, the next question is where does Kuldeep and Chahal leave in the T20 scheme of things?
Last but not least, there is the rhythm department where Bumrah is the only certainty.
Deepak Chahar, who many in the Indian cricket term as 'Pove Man's Praveen Kumar' for the movement generated during the first spell, is an investment inspired for the shorter version.
And then there is Navdeep Saini with an accelerated pace and Khaleel Ahmed bringing the variety of the left arm, but it is known to be leaking. Will they be persistent in the long term?
In the next 13 months, Kohli will look for all the answers.
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 Border
The game starts at 7 pm .