5. Rahul Chahar

However, Rahul might just miss out on the bus with a below-par IPL season. After a few successful games initially, Chahar hasn’t quite been able to deliver with wickets in the middle overs for Punjab Kings. Even though Chahar has picked 14 wickets in 13 innings, with the resurgence of “Kul-cha”, who have picked 44 wickets between them in IPL 2022, the chances of another wrist player featuring in the squad for South Africa as a backup would be pretty slim.

4. Venkatesh Iyer

The Kolkata Knight Riders opener and all-rounder, Venkatesh Iyer, was looked upon as the replacement for Hardik Pandya in the Indian setup. One of the four retained players by KKR, Venkatesh has really struggled to deliver on the faith shown by the KKR management. As we are rather expecting a B-string side for the South Africa series, this would be the right chance for backups to perform and make a case for themselves.

3. Prithvi Shaw

Taking everything into consideration from fitness to Shaw’s form, he would have still missed the bus to the Arun Jaitley stadium in Delhi to play against South Africa. In fact, India has already decided on their opening pair for the T20 World Cup: KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma as the two frontrunners. India also has two backup openers in Shikhar Dhawan and Ruturaj Gaikwad who can walk into any playing eleven.

2. Mayank Agarwal

The race for Team India’s opener position is tighter than ever before, with the likes of young guns like Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devdutt Padikkal, and Shubhman Gill punching above their weights with consistent performances in IPL 2022. Mayank Agarwal, 31, would be extremely unlikely to be included in the squad for the South Africa series.

1. Varun Chakravarthy

Team India’s spin bowling lineup looks sorted with Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, and Ravi Bishnoi, whom the Indian selectors will like to groom to reap benefits in the near future. Chakravarthy would have a difficult time cutting the chase for the South Africa series because all three bases appear to be covered in the spin department.