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South Africa vs India, 3rd T20I – India Predicted XI

The final T20I will be played at Newlands, Cape Town on February 24.

India's captain Virat Kohli congratulates teammate Hardik Pandya
India’s captain Virat Kohli congratulates teammate Hardik Pandya. (Photo by CHRISTIAAN KOTZE/AFP/Getty Images)

Team India looked cruising for yet another win in the limited overs format when they played against South Africa in Centurion. However, their victory march was halted by Heinrich Klaasen’s onslaught supported by JP Duminy. With the win, the hosts have managed to scale the series at 1-1 with the final game left to be played.

In all senses, the final match of the tour promises to be a fitting one. It will be a decider of all sorts. South Africa won the Test series, and India won the ODI series. Hence, the one who takes away the ultimate glory shall keep their heads high at the end of the tour. Action moves to the Newlands, Cape Town for the final game.

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It is the very same venue where it all began on the tour. The hosts look settled with their combinations and are likely to field the same side. On the contrary, the visitors will have to think about their combinations for the game as they head in to the final showdown. It will be interesting to see who the team management picks for the final game.

Here is the India Predicted XI for the final T20I:

Openers (Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma)

The Indian openers are likely to be same. The team has never felt it to be a prudent call tinkering with the opening combinations. Shikhar Dhawan has been in a sublime form in the series and in the limited overs cricket in general. After a fifty at the Wanderers, Dhawan backed it up with a good cameo in Centurion.

On the other hand, Rohit Sharma has had a troubled time in the series thus far. Rohit had started off on a brisk note with a quickfire knock in the first game. But the hard hitting opener bagged a golden duck in the second. He would be hoping to end the tour on a high.

Middle-Order (Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey)

The Indian middle order looks set for the final game. Despite the players looking set in their respective roles, the middle order is yet to fire as a collective unit. Suresh Raina has been promoted ahead of Virat Kohli in both the games. He has fared up decently and looked good for his 30 in the previous game.

Indian skipper Virat Kohli had a rare failure in the previous game. The Indian captain, who has had a herculean time with the bat on the tour, would certainly hope to cap things off in style. Kohli is expected to go all guns blazing in the decider.

At number five, Manish Pandey has certainly cemented his place in the side for the match. Pandey played a brisk unbeaten knock to take India over the 180-run mark in the previous game. He has looked in good touch and is expected to stay back in the side.

Wicket-keeper (MS Dhoni)

Over the last few weeks, the former Indian captain MS Dhoni was under immense pressure. Although his wicketkeeping was second to none in the recent games, it was his batting that bothered the pundits. Dhoni silenced all his critics in style with an unbeaten 52 off just 28 deliveries in the previous game.

All-rounder (Hardik Pandya)

Hardik Pandya has settled himself in the role of the all-rounder in the team. Hardik has not got his fair share of batting in the T20I series thus far, but his bowling has been decent. After conceding 45 runs in the first game, Pandya came up with an improved show in the second.

Spinner (Kuldeep Yadav)

India’s strategy of sticking with just one spinner in the playing eleven is likely to continue in the final match as well. The track at Newlands will be supportive for the pacers and hence, going with one spinner looks the way ahead. However, India is likely to draft in Kuldeep Yadav in place of Yuzvendra Chahal for the match.

Pace bowlers (Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur)

The major conundrums for the team will be in the pace bowling department. Going by the recent trends, the team could prefer to rest Jaydev Unadkat and let Shardul Thakur get an extended go. The track at Newlands has more pace in it than the lateral seam movement. Hence, Shardul serves his case to be retained for the match.

Meanwhile, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been India’s most consistent bowler in the recent times. He was rested for the previous game and is likely to play in the final match of the tour. Kumar has been the most impressive bowler for the side in the series.

Jasprit Bumrah is set to retain his place in the playing eleven. Bumrah has been very good with the new ball and the old ball alike. Bumrah’s accuracy at the death overs is something that makes him a very lethal bowler in the shortest format of the match.

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