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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

After losing the first two matches of the series, the young Indian team led by Rishabh Pant faces a must-win situation against South Africa in the third T20I in Vizag on Tuesday.

After failing to defend a resounding total of 211 in the first T20I, the Indian bowlers again failed to deliver while defending a modest total of 148 in the second T20I at the Barabati Stadium. The Indian team management must be fully aware that they can’t afford any more slip-ups against the visitors. Several talented youngsters like Umran Malik and Arshdeep Singh are waiting for a chance, and former India great Zaheer Khan gave his opinion on the former’s chances of inclusion.

“Extra pace can be handy. That is something that I feel, we have seen in IPL as well. You have seen Umran get Miller out as well on one occasion with the ball coming around the wicket, bowling really fast. So, that’s something that can be a good match-up. With (Heinrich) Klaasen as well, the way he was batting if you get that extra pace, you have the x-factor,” said Zaheer.

“Umran can go for runs as well, but you need to have that x-factor something different which might have that desired impact. So, I think the inclination will be towards young pace sensation Umran for the next match,” he said.

Umran finished as the fourth-highest wicket-taker in the Indian Premier League 2022 with as many as 22 scalps in 14 matches. He was also one of the fastest bowlers in the cash-rich league. 

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