India’s Predicted XI, 5th T20I vs SA: Hosts Likely To Retain Playing XI

The India vs South Africa T20I series has been a roller-coaster ride so far. While the Proteas won the first two matches in dominating fashion, the hosts ruled the roost in the following two. With the series evenly poised at 2-2, it now goes to the decider which will be played at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday. With a lot at stake, both the sides would aim to put their best foot forward in the winner-takes-all contest.

While South Africa have been forced to make changes to their playing XI in the series due to injuries to players and COVID-19, India have not tinkered with their playing combination despite some inconsistent performances.

Putting the trust on players eventually reaped rewards for the hosts and hence it would be really interesting to see if the side would try to make any change to the playing XI for the final match.

Here’s what we think could be India’s playing XI for the fifth and final T20I against South Africa:

Ishan Kishan: The southpaw remains the top run-scorer in the ongoing T20I series. He has 191 runs to his credit from the four matches played so far. His average in the series is 47.75.

Ruturaj Gaikwad: Besides a half-century (57 runs in 35 balls) in the third T20I, Gaikwad has had a forgettable series so far. He has managed to score only 86 runs across four matches at an average of 21.50.

Shreyas Iyer: The stylish right-hander has not been at his absolute best but still is India’s third highest run-getter in the series so far. Iyer has scored 94 runs in four matches at an average of 23.50.

Rishabh Pant: The southpaw has been impressive as captain but has failed to replicate the performance in his batting. South African bowlers have stuck to their plan of keeping the ball away from him and he continues to lose his wicket in a similar fashion. He has scored only 57 runs across four innings so far.

Hardik Pandya: The all-rounder continues to impress with his batting, however, his bowling form seems to be a matter of concern. He has bowled only five overs and has gone wicketless in the series, leaking runs at an economy rate of 12.20.

Dinesh Karthik: After lacking game time in the first three matches, Karthik finally got a good batting opportunity in the fourth game and he grabbed it with both hands. An impactful knock of 55 off 27 at a crucial juncture in the game on Friday helped him bag the Player of the Match award.

Axar Patel: While on the batting front, Axar has not got too many opportunities, the left-arm spinner has improved as a bowler in the past two T20Is after leaking runs in the first couple of matches in the series.

Harshal Patel: Despite being expensive (43 runs in four overs) in the series opener, Harshal Patel continues to choke the batters for runs. He is the highest wicket-taker in the series with seven to his credit at an economy rate of 7.23.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar: The right-arm pacer didn’t get any wicket in the fourth T20I but he was economical. Bhuvi has taken six wickets across the four matches. He is the most economical bowler in the series so far by conceding at a rate of only 6.07 runs per over.


Avesh Khan: The team management showed trust in Avesh after some poor outings and the bowler finally picked a four-wicket haul to confirm his spot in the playing XI for the fifth match. Notably, he was wicketless in the series before the game.

Yuzvendra Chahal: A Player of the Match award in the third T20I and figures of 2/21 in the following game, Chahal is finally back in the groove. He would like to finish the tournament on similar lines.

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