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India v South Africa 2022

Five players unlucky to miss out on India’s T20I squad to face South Africa

India unlucky SA series
by Sarah Waris 3 minute read

India‘s T20I squad saw the entry of some fresh faces, but there were a few surprise omissions as well.

Quicks Umran Malik and Arshdeep Singh have been given maiden call-ups for the T20I series against South Africa that begins on June 9, while Dinesh Karthik has been recalled to the international set-up. KL Rahul will lead the Indian side, with Rishabh Pant as his deputy.

India’s T20I squad to face South Africa:  KL Rahul (c), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (VC, wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik

Here are five players who couldn’t make it to the squad despite some solid performances:

Sanju Samson

In what’s been a see-saw career so far, the Rajasthan Royals wicketkeeper has struggled to find regular playing time, featuring in three T20Is against Sri Lanka earlier this year. He made 39 and 18 in the two innings he batted in, with strike rates of 156 and 150, respectively, teasing fans with his big-striking ability that’s made him a largely polarising figure.

In this year’s IPL, Samson consistently played impactful innings, and while the average stood at 28.77 after the league stages, he had a strike rate of 147.24. Many consider him to be the kind of player who can turn the complexion of the game in just a few overs, and he’d probably look at it as a missed opportunity ahead of the T20 World Cup in the latter half of this year.

Rahul Tripathi

A highly versatile cricketer with an uncanny ability to bat wherever needed, Tripathi has impressed a number of experts, who’ve pushed for his selection to the team. Sunrisers Hyderabad’s No.3 batter this season, he enjoyed a strike rate of 165.08 against pace, and a strike rate of 145.65 against spinners, making him a formidable, all-condition opponent.

Tripathi also has the second-best strike rate by an Indian in the last two seasons of the T20 league (min. 700 runs), scoring 810 runs at 32.40. Given that they’ve been guilty of being sluggish at times, India could do with Tripathi’s style of batting in T20Is.

Prithvi Shaw

A blistering batter who has shown enough evidence of his striking abilities, Shaw is the only player to strike at over 155 and score more than 700 runs since IPL 2021, which is evidence enough of his consistency.

The opener has played one T20I but has left his mark in the six ODIs he has played, striking at 113.85 at the top of the order. The highlight knock was a quickfire 43 off 24 balls against Sri Lanka in 2021, suggesting that he could be a powerhouse at the top against the white ball. His batting template is well-suited for T20Is, but given the number of top-order options already, slotting Shaw in continues to be a challenge.

Shikhar Dhawan

There were reports that said the left-hander was being touted as India’s captain for the T20Is against South Africa, which makes his omission surprising. He had the backing of a few good IPL seasons: since 2019, he’s scored 2,186 runs alone and was the fourth-highest run-getter in IPL 2022 by the end of the league stage.

While he continues to be a regular in the ODI setup at the top of the order, he has played only four T20Is since 2021. India might well have decided to move on from Dhawan in the shortest format, if he doesn’t make a late entry with the short Ireland trip later in June.

Mohsin Khan

The left-arm seamer, playing his maiden IPL, ended the league stages with an economy rate of 5.93, the best among all bowlers who grabbed at least ten scalps this season. Along with good lateral movement, there was pace on display as well, with Mohsin breaching the 150kph barrier.

The Lucknow Super Giants bowler can be called upon to bowl in any phase of the innings and was especially lethal in the powerplay in this league, conceding only 5.21 runs with the new ball in eight innings. With not many left-arm seamers in the reckoning at the moment, Mohsin could have been a surprise pick for the home series.

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