Need to take call on Shikhar
Sunday will mark the start of a fresh home season of international cricket with a distinct slant towards T20 and Test . First up against a new-look South Africa is the threematch T20I series, which India will approach with great confidence and optimism. Their last outing was an unqualified success, away from home, against the formidable
West Indies who are the defending T20
World Cup champions.
The ease with which India brushed them aside in Lauderhill and Providence was a tremendous achievement, and I expect an equally strong performance against
Quinton de Kock’s young South Africa side.
India boast a powerful and experienced batting line-up which gives them the edge straightaway, and the return of Hardik Pandya adds greater firepower to the batting and balance to the team. While Hardik will slot straightaway into the playing XI, I would also like to see Manish Pandey retain his place to showcase his abilities. With the next T20 World Cup a little over a year away, India will have to decide whether Shikhar Dhawan is still the preferred opening partner for Rohit Sharma going forward.
There are a lot of other batsmen capable of striking up a good alliance with Rohit at the top of the order. How long a rope the team management is willing to give him will make for interesting viewing.