Virat-less India asked to bat first in series-decider T20I

Cape Town [South Africa]: South Africa have won the toss and asked India to bat first in the series-decider third and final T20I here at Newlands Stadium on Saturday.

Heading into the match, the Men in Blue have suffered a big blow as they will be without their star captain Virat Kohli, who is suffering from a stiff back.

While Indian opener Rohit Sharma will lead the side in absence of injured Kohli, Dinesh Karthik will come to bat at the skipper’s position.

Jaspreet Bumrah and Axar Patel have been called up in place of Jaydev Unadkat and Yuzvendra Chahal, respectively.

Having won the five-match ODI series already, India will aim to return home with two trophies.

The three-match T20I series is currently tied at 1-1. India won the first game by 28 runs in Johannesburg, but tasted six-wicket defeat in the second after extraordinary innings from Henrich Klaasen and JP Duminy.

It will be a T20I debut for the India at Newlands as the tourists have never played the shortest format of the game here.

South Africa, on the other hand, have lost five of the eight games played at the venue.

The two squads are as follows:

India Playing XI: Rohit Sharma (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni , Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah.

South Africa Playing XI: David Miller, Reeza Hendricks, JP Duminy (capt), Heinrich Klaasen (wk), Farhaan Berhadien, Christiaan Jonker, Chris Morris, Andile Phehlukwayo, Aaron Phangiso, Junior Dala, Tabraiz Shamsi. (ANI)