With only a day left for the start of the India vs South Africa T20I series, head coach Rahul Dravid has hinted at the playing XI for the first game. It is a bit difficult to pick a playing XI from a team that has a lot of talented players. However several players in the squad haven’t really played enough games. Skipper KL Rahul, vice-captain Rishabh Pant, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Shreyas Iyer look certain to feature in the playing XI.
Others will find it hard to make it into the XI as there are competitors for the different spots in the team. One such case is with tearaway pacer Umran Malik, who got his maiden national call-up last month. Dravid, in a post-practice press conference on June 7 has indicated that Malik might have to wait for his international debut. He said that the Jammu and Kashmir player was brilliant in the nets but can’t give an opportunity to every single player to play in the match.
The former India skipper added that Umran is learning and is getting better. The 49-year-old further added that the more Malik plays, the better he will get.
“Brilliant in terms of watching Umran in the nets, you can see that he has got that pace. Obviously, he is learning. He is a young boy, and he is getting better, improving. The more he is able to play, the better he is going to get. From our, perspective, I am very happy to have someone like him in the mix. We have to see how much playing time we can give him; we need to be realistic; we have a large squad, it is not possible to give everyone playing XI time,” Dravid said about Umran on Tuesday.
The 22-year-old was selected after having an impressive Indian T20 League 2022 with 22 wickets in 14 games for Hyderabad. In total, he has played 22 games in the shortest format before getting his national call-up.