International Cricket

India vs South Africa 2023: Ideal T20 Playing 11 for Indian Team

Suryakumar Yadav to continue to lead as we look at India vs South Africa 2023 T20 Playing 11 best options from the squad.  

In the midst of an interesting India vs Australia T20 series, the Board of Control for Cricket in India has officially announced the 17-member squad for the 3-match India vs South Africa 2023 T20 series. The South Africa series brings fresh challenges to the table as Team India gear up for the 2024 T20 World Cup.

As we had expected, India shall once again be without 3 of their key and experienced players, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah. Assumingly all three are rested, Team India will once again rely on the young and dynamic squad that has already been doing quite well in T20 Internationals off late.

With Hardik Pandya also missing the squad, Suryakumar Yadav shall lead the team with Ravindra Jadeja as his deputy. The T20 series begins on December 10, and India still have two more T20Is scheduled vs Australia. So, with sufficient intel in front of us, let’s analyze the current squad, and find out the strongest India vs South Africa 2023 T20 Playing 11. 

India vs South Africa 2023 T20 Series – Official Squad for the Indian Team:

Batters: Rinku Singh, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav (c), Tilak Varma & Yashasvi Jaiswal

WKs: Ishan Kishan & Jitesh Sharma

All-rounders: Ravindra Jadeja & Washington Sundar

Bowlers: Arshdeep Singh, Deepak Chahar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Mukesh Kumar & Ravi Bishnoi

Team India’s Playing 11

Openers – Shubman Gill & Yashasvi Jaiswal

India are currently playing Ruturaj Gaikwad and Yashasvi Jaiswal as their first-choice openers for the T20 series vs Australia. Both are doing a brilliant job currently, and should ideally have continued against South Africa too. But unfortunately, India will be having Shubman Gill also in the squad, and that means, one of Ruturaj Gaikwad or Yashasvi Jaiswal will have to make way for Gill.

So, who takes the hit, and sits out with Shubman Gill guaranteed to play? Well, ideally, Yashasvi Jaiswal should be preferred above Ruturaj Gaikwad in T20Is. Not only is Yashsavi a left-hander, but he is also a more attacking and free-flowing batter as compared to Ruturaj, whose gameplay is pretty similar to Shubman Gill. So, Yashasvi is a stronger option, but if India go with experience, Ruturaj could be preferred. 

Middle-order – Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav & Shreyas Iyer

Coming to the middle-order, India are currently playing wicket-keeper Ishan Kishan, Captain Suryakumar Yadav, and Tilak Varma. However, with Shreyas Iyer coming into the squad, expect him to be preferred above Tilak Varma. Shreyas has been in exemplary form off late, and his batting at 5 makes a case for a strong middle order for India. 

Lower-order – Rinku Singh & Ravindra Jadeja

Coming to the finishers, India have two solid left-handers Rinku Singh and Ravindra Jadeja. While Rinku has been doing wonders in the shortest format of the game, the addition of Jadeja in place of Axar Patel makes for a solid batting depth, and a strong bowling option. In addition to playing as a finisher, Jadeja will also be donning the vice-captaincy duties for the T20 series.

Bowlers – Arshdeep Singh, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj & Mukesh Kumar

Finally, talking about bowling, Team India have plenty of options to explore, and what combination they select will be very interesting. With the options in front of us, one thing we will definitely see is a combination of 3 pacers and 1 spinner. But which options will India go ahead with as there are 4 pacers and 3 spinners in front of us? 

Well, for the confirmed names, Arshdeep Singh and Mukesh Kumar should play as the first-choice pacers. For the third name, India have to choose one among Deepak Chahar and Mohammed Siraj. Well, both are superb powerplay bowlers. While one brings extreme pace to the table, the other adds batting depth. Ideally, Siraj brings that fear factor while bowling, so should be preferred first. 

Finally, selecting the lone spinner, India have three options in the form of Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, and Ravi Bishnoi. Of the three, Ravi Bishnoi is the leading spinner seeing the T20 series vs Australia. But with more experienced Kuldeep Yadav returning, we should see Kuldeep being preferred above Bishnoi and Sundar. 

India vs South Africa 2023 T20 Playing 11 – Best Option for Indian Team:

Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ishan Kishan (wk), Suryakumar Yadav (c), Shreyas Iyer, Rinku Singh, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Mohammed Siraj & Mukesh Kumar. 

So, that’s about the strongest India vs South Africa 2023 T20 Playing 11. Overall, the discussion shall mostly be on finalizing the two first-choice openers and the 3 pacers. The rest of the players mostly select for themselves. Meanwhile, here’s the official India vs South Africa 2023 T20 series schedule. 

India vs South Africa 2023 T20 Series Schedule:

  • 1st T20I – Dec 10 @ Durban
  • 2nd T20I – Dec 12 @ Gqeberha
  • 3rd T20I – Dec 14 @ Johannesburg

Thanks for reading! What’s your strongest India vs South Africa 2023 T20 playing 11? Please share your thoughts to

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