India vs South Africa T20I: Find out why India to start as favorites for the T20 Internationals

[caption id="attachment_63039" align="aligncenter" width="580"]India will have the upper hand before the T20 series against SA India will have the upper hand before the T20 series against South Africa.[/caption]

XtraTime Web Desk: Confident India eyeing to win the three-match T20I series as well after trashing South Africa in a historic ODI series by 5-1 last night which is set to start from Sunday.

Veteran Suresh Raina will be under the spotlight as he is making a comeback in the Indian squad after one year. Not only him but also KL Rahul and Jaydev Unadkat have join the team for the upcoming series.

India has some fond memories of T20I matches in South Africa as they won the maiden T20 world Cup in 2006 under Mahendra Singh Dhoni's leadership.

In last 10 T20 matches India won 7. In the last T20 Kohli and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were rested but, Shreyas Iyer, Mohammed Siraj and Washington Sundar fell in the shoes very well and among them Iyer will play in this three match series.

The young batsman has had starts in the two ODIs he played at Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth, scoring 18 and 30.

His composure was more impressive than his run-tally though, never mind the dropped catches. Yet, he might lose out to the returning Raina, who is a particularly handy all-rounder in this format.

Raina's return is the most intriguing aspect of the T20 series from an Indian point of view. He hasn't played ODI cricket since 2015, and last featured in a T20I series twelve months ago against England. He scored 104 runs in three matches, inclusive of a half-century, but didn't bowl enough overs.

It did fuel aspirations of a possible return to the ODI set-up with the Champions Trophy in sight, but the selectors ignored him despite scoring 442 runs in the 2017 IPL for Gujarat Lions.

His continued absence from the T20I set-up during the 2017-18 home season raised eyebrows, but it was revealed that he had missed the now obligatory yo-yo fitness test and hence missed out on selection.

He cleared that test in December and finished sixth in the runs' chart (314 runs in 9 matches inclusive of one hundred and two half-centuries) for Uttar Pradesh during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

It is easy to assume that Raina will walk back into the playing XI and his performances will be keenly noted, given that India will also play a T20I tri-series in Sri Lanka later in March.

It could be a pathway for Raina to get back into reckoning for the 2019 World Cup as the Indian team management continues to look for all-round options that can fit into the middle order, especially the role of a No 4 batsman.

Unadkat is the other player to watch here. Since New Zealand's trip in October, India have featured a left-arm pacer in their T20 eleven in four out of six matches. After Ashish Nehra retired, Unadkat was called up when Kumar was rested against Sri Lanka.

With the tag of highest paid Indian player (at Rs 11.5 crore) at this year's IPL auction and 24 wickets in the last edition of the cash-rich league, Unadkat could be India's trump card in this format.

He has enjoyed a resurrection of sorts since then, and it will be interesting to see what is India's first-choice pace attack with all three - Unadkat, Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah - available for selection. Shardul Thakur, who picked a career-best 4/52 in the sixth ODI, cannot be ignored either.

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