Former Indian opener, Wasim Jaffer has said South Africa will be starting as the favorites when they take on India in the first T20I of the five-match series, scheduled to take place on Thursday in New Delhi. Jaffer reckons that India will be deeply missing KL Rahul as he used to provide some stability.
Rahul was ruled out of India’s upcoming five-match T20I series against South Africa due to a groin injury. In Rahul’s absence, wicket-keeper batter Rishabh Pant was named as the India skipper for the T20I series with Hardik Pandya as his deputy.
During a recent chat with ESPNCricinfo, Wasim Jaffer said, “If you have to look at both sides, I think SA start as favorites now that KL Rahul is not there. Even though Kuldeep Yadav has got injured, I had my doubts about whether Kuldeep would have played in the first XI in the 1st T20I.”
He further added, “But KL Rahul’s absence is a major setback for India. South Africa will start as favorites because they have probably brought their best team. They have a potent bowling attack, and their spinners are quite good.”
Dale Steyn has predicted a close T20I series between India and South Africa, saying that despite missing a few big match players, India has players who have game time behind them.
Dale Steyn said, “It’s a close one. All the Indians have been playing cricket. They have been playing in the IPL. It’s always good to have some game time under your belt. There are some key positions where South Africa have been playing. Opening the batting with Quinton de Kock, he’s been playing. (Aiden) Markram and Rassie (van der Dussen) have been playing. David Miller at 5-6 has been doing really well, and then (Kagiso) Rabada and (Anrich) Nortje at the backend. It’s going to be a tight series.”