Highlights

  • India will maintain the 'fearless' approach in SA series, captain says
  • Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli absent from T20 team
  • series starting

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Ahead of South Africa series, India's T20 skipper Suryakumar Yadav reaffirms 'fearless' approach

Drawing from the T20 series against Australia, India will seek to maintain its "fearless" approach on the field, captain Suryakumar Yadav said.

Ahead of South Africa series, India's T20 skipper Suryakumar Yadav reaffirms 'fearless' approach

South Africa will pose a steep challenge to the young Indian side in the T20I series, but captain Suryakumar Yadav said on Saturday that the thought of producing a stellar effort out of their "comfort zone" should work as a motivation for the players.

India will face the Proteas in the first T20I of the three-match series here on Sunday.

"When you go outside India, you're always out of your comfort zone and when you do really well out of your comfort zone, it makes a lot of noise and that really encourages the boys. So, really looking forward to the series," said Suryakumar during his pre-match press conference.

Suryakumar backed his fledgling squad to show character in the face of a daunting opposition.

"The guys whom I am watching right now in the T20s are very expressive, very fearless. I have that attitude. They aren't afraid of failure. Whatever happens if they do good or if they don't get runs on that given day, their attitude remains the same.

"I think that balance is really important and I have just told them just enjoy this format, just be yourself," said Suryakumar.

He gave the examples of Rinku Singh and Jitesh Sharma, who played a pivotal role in the home series win against Australia, to underscore his point about the young cricketers.

"Rinku and Jitesh so far have the opportunity to bat in the same slot (for India) as their state or IPL teams. I have told them to do what they have been doing for those teams. They did exactly that (against Australia), showing some character in some tough situations," he noted.

The bounce and pace on South African pitches will certainly test this group of young cricketers, and the captain said his wards are well-equipped to ace that scrutiny.

"I think the key to success in playing on such wickets will be to be yourself. We’ve played on all fast tracks in India and everyone is really equipped for it.

"And regarding the strokes for the batsmen, they've already battered on these kinds of wickets and I'm sure they will enjoy playing in South Africa," he said.

India will have a mere six more T20Is ahead of the T20 World Cup 2024, but Suryakumar down played the minimal number factor.' "There are only limited T20s before the T20 WC. But then we play 14 league games in the IPL and players have already played a lot of games and they have a lot of experience under their belt.

"So, I don't think there'll be an issue when selecting the squad (for WC) because everyone knows their role really well," he explained.

Suryakumar has been elevated as India T20I captain after Hardik Pandya’s injury, and the Mumbai cricketer said he has been enjoying the experience.

"From personal point of view, it (captaincy) is a big responsibility. I really enjoyed it in the last series (against Australia). I would love to do the same (winning) in the coming series in South Africa.

"From the larger perspective, I feel we'll see what comes ahead but for now let's focus on the series." The 33-year-old admitted that the one-day World Cup final defeat against Australia was a heartbreaking one but the series win against the same opposition, albeit, in a different format, was a morale booster for them.

"It was a little bit of disappointment (WC final defeat), which will be difficult to move on from. But as I always say the show must go on. But after that there was a nice T20 series against Australia. We really enjoyed it.

"It was a different format. It (the series win) was a big boost for the boys,” he signed off.

India vs South Africa: SA pacer Lungi Ngidi ruled out of T20I series


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