Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra (Image Credit: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra thinks South Africa will certainly win the first T20I against Team India if they win the toss. The first match of the five-match series between India and South Africa will be played on June 9 at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi.

The hosts were already missing some of their most important players, including Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah, and have since been dealt additional strikes. KL Rahul and Kuldeep Yadav have indeed been ruled out of the series due to injuries.

KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant
KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant. (Photo: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra predicted South Africa to win the first T20I in a video posted to his YouTube channel. He expanded:

“Earlier, I predicted India would win this game, but now I believe South Africa can win.” If South Africa manages to win the toss, they will win a match completely, but if India manages to win the toss, I believe South Africa will win 51-49.”

Yuzvendra Chahal and Kagiso Rabada, the cricketer-turned-commentator, are expected to take wickets. Aakash Chopra reasoned:

Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal. (Photo: BCCI)

“Chahal and Rabada will each take three or more wickets. Chahal bowls are becoming increasingly popular. Rishabh Pant is the skipper, so he may ask him to bowl toward the end. His numbers are better, whether he’s up against David Miller or Quinton de Kock. Kagiso Rabada – powerplay, death overs – I think he’ll get a couple of wickets.”

‘Send Hardik in whenever a wicket falls after 10 overs’: Aakash Chopra

Aakash Chopra believes Hardik Pandya and Shreyas Iyer will contribute significantly with the bat for Team India. He predicted:

 Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya Photo Credit: (ICC)

“Hardik and Shreyas will score more than 65 runs together. Hardik will perform the finisher’s role, according to Rahul Dravid, but it doesn’t mean he can’t bat higher up the order. When a wicket falls after 10 overs, bring in Hardik. There will be bouncers, and Tabraiz Shamsi’s leg-spin against Shreyas will cause him some trouble.”

The Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi will host the first T20I between India and South Africa. The first Twenty20 International between India and South Africa will begin at 7:30 p.m. IST on Thursday (June 9).

Also Read: IND vs SA: Rishabh Pant Set To Become India’s Second Youngest Captain To Lead In T20I Cricket