India and South Africa have locked horns at the Optus Stadium, Perth, in a crucial group match of the T20 World Cup, 2022. Skipper Rohit Sharma won the toss and decided to bat first. 

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Deepak Hooda comes in for Axar Patel in the playing XI in a surprise move. His inclusion comes as a boost for the Indian batting lineup. Hooda has played 12 T20Is for the Men in Blue, scoring 293 runs with an average of 42 and a high score of 104. He has taken just a single wicket, but has an economy of just 5.33. With this move, the Indian batting lineup has only right-handed batters, a move with South African spinner Keshav Maharaj in mind. 

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Explaining his decision to bat, Sharma said, “It’s a good surface, we know what to expect and what to do on this pitch. We had a camp across at the WACA, helped us get used to the bounce for both batters and the bowlers. But this is an important game from where the tournament is, we just have to follow the routine and trust the process, just stay calm and execute the plans. One change – Axar misses out, Hooda is in.”

India Playing XI:

Rohit Sharma(c), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik(w), Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh 

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South Africa also made a change in their playing XI from the team that won against Zimbabwe. Lungi Ngidi came in for Tabraiz Shamsi.

South Africa Playing XI:

Quinton de Kock(w), Temba Bavuma(c), Rilee Rossouw, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Tristan Stubbs, Wayne Parnell, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje