South Africa will start T20I series as favourites in KL Rahul's absence: Wasim Jaffer
KL Rahul has been ruled out of the five-match T20I series due to a groin injury.
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South Africa will take on India in a five-match T20I series starting on June 9 (Thursday) in Arun Jaitley Stadium, New Delhi. Former India batter Wasim Jaffer reckons South Africa step into the series as favourites due to the absence of batter KL Rahul.
Jaffer said that although there is another injury with bowler Kuldeep Yadav, who he thinks was not a guaranteed starter in the team, it is Rahul’s injury that has caused a major setback in the Indian team. On the other hand, he thinks that the visitors might field their best team, which is why he feels they come into the game as favourites.
Dale Steyn feels the India vs South Africa series is going to be a “close one”.
Rahul was initially named the captain of the Indian team; but after being ruled out due to a groin injury, wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant takes the charge, with all-rounder Hardik Pandya being his deputy. Former South African fast bowler Dale Steyn feels that the series will be closely contested since Indian players have been in action in recent times with the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Talking about South Africa’s team order, he said that Quinton de Kock should open and batter David Miller should come in at number five or six, and bowlers Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje should handle the mantle in the bowling department. He reckoned that it was going to be a tight series.
“I think SA start as favourites now that KL Rahul is not there. I had my doubts about whether Kuldeep would have played in the first XI in the 1st T20I. But KL Rahul’s absence is a major setback for India. South Africa will start as favourites because they have probably brought their best team,” said Jaffer while speaking to ESPNcricinfo.
“It’s a close one. They (Indians) have been playing in the IPL. It’s always good to have some game time under your belt. Opening the batting with Quinton de Kock, he’s been playing. David Miller at 5-6 has been doing really well, and then (Kagiso) Rabada and (Anrich) Nortje at the backend. It’s going to be a tight series,” stated Steyn.