NEW DELHI: South Africa captain Temba Bavuma has won the toss and elected to bowl first against India in the series opener at the Arun Jaitley Stadium here on Thursday.
After winning the toss, Bavuma said middle-order batter Tristan Stubbs will make his international debut as Aiden Markram tested positive for Covid-19 and is not participating in the match. Bavuma added that in the playing eleven, there are two pace all-rounders in Dwaine Pretorius and Wayne Parnell with Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje and Tabraiz Shamsi completing the bowling line-up.
"We played a practice game here a couple of days ago, so that the wicket got better to bat on. It was a bit slow and stopping at the beginning, hopefully we can exploit that and restrict them to a decent score and chase it down. It is an important series as we haven't been together as a group since the World Cup, it is a preparation for the World Cup coming up in Australia. For us it is about to build momentum and build confidence going ahead," said Bavuma.
India skipper Rishabh Pant, making his captaincy debut in international cricket at his home ground, said he didn't mind batting first and confirmed that Ishan Kishan will open alongside Ruturaj Gaikwad with Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik returning to the T20I side after a long time.
"But if I had won the toss I would have bowled first. It is one of the proudest moments in my cricketing career so far. Because a Delhi boy getting that (captaincy) honour at Delhi is a huge thing for me. Thanks to everyone for giving me this opportunity. We know our XI but at the same time we are giving different roles to players and see how they cope with that going forward," stated Pant.
India: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (captain & wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan and Yuzvendra Chahal
South Africa: Quinton de Kock (wicketkeeper), Temba Bavuma (captain), Reeza Hendricks, David Miller, Tristan Stubbs, Wayne Parnell, Dwaine Pretorius, Keshav Maharaj, Tabraiz Shamsi, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje