Eoin Morgan signalled the end of an era for England's limited-overs team as he announced his international retirement on Tuesday.

Morgan, who started his career playing for Ireland, had captained the white-ball side for eight years.

In that time, England went to the 2016 World Twenty20 final and then overcame the pain of that narrow defeat by winning a dramatic 2019 Cricket World Cup final.

Morgan will "go down as one of the most influential figures not just in English cricket but in world cricket", according to Brendon McCullum, while Nasser Hussain lauded "our greatest ever white-ball captain" and Michael Atherton hailed his "white-ball dynasty".

But more than merely an outstanding leader - who is expected to be replaced in his role by Jos Buttler – Morgan has also been a brilliant player for England.

Indeed, there is scarcely a white-ball record Morgan does not have his fingerprints on, with his Test career lasting only 16 matches.

Despite playing 23 ODIs for Ireland between 2006 and 2009 before switching allegiances, no player has appeared in more matches for England in the format (225); the same is true of T20Is (115).

Perhaps it is no surprise then that Morgan leads England in runs in both formats – 6,957 in 50 overs and 2,458 in 20. In fact, only eight players of any nationality have scored more T20I runs.

Morgan has played with some of the sport's biggest hitters but can hold his own, too: his 220 ODI sixes (202 for England) include 17 in one match against Afghanistan at the 2019 World Cup, a record that stands to this day.

In the shortest format, he has hit 120 sixes – the most of any England star and the fourth-most overall.

A star in the field, too, Morgan has taken 46 catches in T20Is to lead England all internationals and rank joint-eighth across the board.

But Morgan will perhaps still be best remembered as the man organising the field as England scaled new heights – and he owns his fair share of records in that regard, too.

Morgan was captain for just over half of his ODI appearances (126), comfortably the most such outings of any England player, ahead of Alastair Cook (69).

It is unsurprisingly a similar story in the younger T20I format, with Morgan's 72 games as captain matching India's MS Dhoni for the record.

Morgan's sublime career is unlikely to be forgotten in a hurry, but this array of dominant records ensures that will remain the case.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan believes Jos Buttler is the ideal candidate to replace Eoin Morgan as white-ball skipper.

Morgan is expected to step down as captain on Tuesday, with a news conference at Lord's having been arranged.

It is thought Buttler, the vice-captain, will replace Morgan, who has been in charge since 2014. He has led England to World Cup glory, as well as the T20 World Cup final.

The Ben Stokes-Brendon McCullum red-ball tenure started with a 3-0 series win over New Zealand, but while new white-ball coach Matthew Mott saw his team claim an easy series victory in the Netherlands earlier in June, Morgan is now set to quit his post and retire from international cricket, having passed 50 just once in his last eight ODI outings.

Vaughan believes England will forever be indebted to Morgan, writing in The Telegraph: "There have been many Test captains who have made an impact on the history of English cricket during their time in charge, but there has only been one white-ball captain that has done so – Eoin Morgan.

"The freedom and fearless approach that he's given this white-ball team is going to be with England forever. He's going to be remembered forever and can now sit back and be very proud of what he's achieved as an individual leader. 

"English cricket is in an exciting place – you've got this white-ball group of players that is so deep and so full of power, and the question is how many are going to be left out that should be in the side. And a lot of that is down to what Morgan has put in place."

 

And Vaughan feels Buttler, fresh off some wonderful displays against the Netherlands and in the Indian Premier League, is the perfect replacement.

"For me it's a no-brainer that Jos Buttler takes over that role. He's the best white-ball player in the world, he's got a very smart cricket brain, and he's got that calmness you need," Vaughan wrote.

"I guess his personality might be different from Eoin. The one thing that Jos will have to be very, very good at is staying the same when he doesn't have a good game or two. That has been Eoin's massive strength – he has never changed and even last week in Holland after getting two noughts, I bet he was still the same person in the dressing room."

Vaughan also believes Buttler could provide the solution to a major weakness in England's Test side.

"That might not be all Jos could do for England, though. Kumar Sangakkara said something this week, which I thought was ridiculous the first 10 minutes I thought about it: Buttler should be England's Test match opener," Vaughan continued.

"And then it hit me that with this Test match team and the way that they're playing: this might be an idea worth exploring. England have this fearless, aggressive nature. If something as radical Buttler as Test opener was ever going to work it would be now, under this management group of Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum.

"I wouldn't say it's a sensible option – because it's not sensible. But I don't think some of the decisions that this Test match team are going to be making are going to be sensible.

"What's the most aggressive, radical thing that we could think of? Let's go. Jos opening in Test cricket is quite radical. Just go for it."

Buttler has not featured for England in a Test since the 2021-22 Ashes in Australia, where he failed to impress with the bat, top-scoring with a 39 in Brisbane.

England limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan has created a "white-ball dynasty" but has chosen the right time to retire from international cricket.

That is the message from former England captain Michael Atherton, who was speaking after news circulated that Morgan is expected to announce his retirement on Tuesday.

Morgan has endured a tough spell with the bat in recent times, managing to pass 50 just once in his past eight ODI innings and failing to score in his last two outings against the Netherlands.

England have still won eight consecutive ODIs, their longest such winning streak since a sequence of the same length in 2017, but Morgan promised to step down when he was no longer contributing as a batter.

Vice-captain Jos Buttler appears poised to take the captaincy from Morgan, who has rejuvenated the white-ball fortunes of England since being appointed as skipper in 2014.

England won the Cricket World Cup in the 50-over format with a dramatic victory over New Zealand at Lord's in 2019, three years after reaching the World Twenty20 final.

Morgan's side also reached the T20 World Cup semi-finals in 2021, and Atherton believes the 35-year-old is making the right choice to step down with his legacy still intact.

"He created a one-day dynasty. Having taken over at a low point – the 2015 World Cup, which went badly – he decided it was time to change England's approach," Atherton told Sky Sports.

"For seven years, England have been as good at white-ball cricket as anybody. And that's the first time really you can say that about our one-day side.

"He will go down as one of England's most significant captains, but I think he has picked exactly the right time to go.

"He said the other day, 'I'm feeling old', and he told Middlesex he couldn't play two T20 games in succession. If you can't do that, how are you then going to captain in a World Cup when they come thick and fast?"

 

Morgan is set to retire as the all-time leading run-scorer for England in ODI and T20I cricket, with 6,957 and 2,458 runs respectively.

Having also played 23 ODIs for Ireland, his 225 ODIs and 115 T20s are England records for appearances, and Nasser Hussain says Matthew Mott's side will lose their greatest ever leader and a brilliant batter.

"I had an interview with Rob Key when Rob Key got the job, and I asked him about Eoin Morgan and the white-ball side," former England captain Hussain added.

"He said that one thing about Eoin Morgan is that he will always do what is best for the team. If he's not contributing to the team and if he feels him being out of the team is better for that team, then he will go. That will be the decision that Morgan is making.

"He has been short of form, short of fitness and there are other people now – there are so many white-ball batters who could be playing. 

"It's not the 10 players he is taking on the field with him, it's in the one he's leaving behind because he's in that spot, and Morgan will always think of that one.

"One thing for certain is that he has been our greatest ever white-ball captain. He's a World Cup-winning captain, and he is a superb player.

"He was the one that was reverse-sweeping, reverse-scooping and playing all of these funky shots. He was way ahead of his time both as a player and as a captain."

England white-ball captain Eoin Morgan is set to retire from international cricket.

Morgan is expected to announce his retirement during a press conference at Lord's on Tuesday, with vice-captain Jos Buttler poised to replace him.

The 35-year-old batter has transformed the white-ball fortunes of England since his appointment in 2014, leading his side to World Cup glory with a dramatic win over New Zealand at Lord's in 2019.

Morgan also guided England to the T20 World Cup final in 2016, before reaching the semi-finals of the same competition five years later.

While England have become a huge force in limited-overs cricket during Morgan's tenure, the left-hander has struggled with the bat in recent times.

England completed an ODI series sweep over Netherlands last week – extending their winning run to eight matches in the 50-over format – but Morgan failed to score in two matches before missing the final clash due to injury.

The Dublin-born Morgan has passed 50 just once in his past eight ODI innings since scoring 106 against Ireland in February 2020, and had vowed to step down when he felt he could no longer contribute.

England face India in a three-match T20I series starting on July 7 and are set to do so without their all-time leading run scorer in T20I and ODI cricket.

Morgan has scored 7,701 ODI runs and 2,458 runs in the shortest format at international level. His 248 ODIs and 115 T20s are also England records for appearances.

A brilliant leader and destructive batter, Morgan made his international debut for Ireland back in 2006 before committing to play for England. He played 16 Tests between 2010 and 2012.

Matthew Mott will expect England to continue playing the aggressive brand of cricket that Morgan instilled as his side go in search of T20 World Cup glory in Australia later this year.

They will then head to India next year attempting to defend their world title in the 50-over format.

India crushed Ireland by seven wickets after rain clouds cleared at Malahide, delivering a clinical display in the opening T20I.

Late-afternoon wet weather in Dublin meant this was reduced to a 12-overs-a-side contest, and Ireland recovered from a rocky start to post 108-4 from their allocation.

Harry Tector cracked three sixes in making 64 not out from 33 balls, the highest T20I score by an Ireland batter against India, but the 22-year-old was the only member of the home team who made a substantial impact. They had been 22-3 at one point.

The hosts' total looked on the low side given the batting power in India's ranks, and that was how it turned out as India sauntered to 111-3 in 9.2 overs.

India lost Ishan Kishan for 26 and Suryakumar Yadav without scoring to successive deliveries from Craig Young in the third over, bowling the former and pinning the latter lbw.

They had 30 on the board at that point but were not slowed down by the twin blows, with opener Deepak Hooda's 47 not out from 29 balls the pivotal innings.

Captain Hardik Pandya bludgeoned 24 from 12 deliveries, striking three sixes, before being snagged lbw by Josh Little, by which time the victory line was in sight.


Too little, too late

By the time Little pinned Pandya for a prized scalp, this contest was effectively already over. Hooda had provided the glue that held India's innings together, so it was appropriate he was the man to strike the winning runs at the start of Little's next over, cracking the first two balls to the boundary to clinch the victory. Little's 2.2 overs cost 39 runs, while Young finished with 2-18 from two overs.

Harry in a hurry

These sides meet again on Tuesday, also at Malahide, and Ireland will be looking for more fireworks from Tector. His innings on Sunday followed a handy run of three prosperous T20I innings in February, when he clattered 24 from 15 deliveries against Germany, 35 from 27 balls against Oman and 50 from 37 against the United Arab Emirates.

There will be plenty of focus on Hardik Pandya as he bids to again display his captaincy skills in his first series as India skipper in Ireland.

Pandya has stepped in as captain for the two-match Twenty20 International series as Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer instead focus on the rearranged Test against England.

There is an opportunity for the 28-year-old all-rounder to impress across two matches India will expect to dominate, having won each of their three prior T20Is against Ireland. Against no team do India have a better 100 per cent winning rate (also three matches versus Afghanistan).

Pandya was captain of Gujarat Titans in the 2022 Indian Premier League, leading the franchise to the title in their debut season.

And former India opener WV Raman, who also coached the women's team, is looking forward to seeing Pandya in a leadership role at international level for the first time when the series begins on Sunday.

"There will be excitement in this series because Hardik Pandya is becoming the new captain of the Indian team," Raman told News24 Sports.

"The way he captained an IPL team raises everyone's expectations. His habit of taking responsibility was the best thing I found in the IPL.

"The expectation is that he will continue in the same way, will motivate everyone nicely."

Indeed, this could even be considered an audition for Pandya to take on the role over a longer period.

Raman added: "He did good captaincy for an IPL franchise, but you will have to see how he leads the Indian team, because here there is a selection committee.

"We will have to see what is their convictions, ideas and views after seeing his captaincy, so that they can make a decision based on that."

Opportunity knocks

Ireland have lost their past two T20Is against Test-playing sides, while India are on a three-match winning run away from home, so there may be the opportunity for the tourists to take a look at some of the fringe members of their squad.

Umran Malik and Arshdeep Singh were both called up for the recently finished South Africa series, but neither made an appearance as India stuck with their first-choice bowling attack, having fallen 2-0 behind.

Although that decision paid off, as they recovered to draw 2-2, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar (45) and Avesh Khan (45) bowling more dot balls than any other players, Malik and Arshdeep will hope they are rewarded now for their patience.

Batters old and new

Rahul Tripathi is the latest player to be given a first call-up and will hope to impress with the bat, as he did during the IPL, scoring 413 runs for Sunrisers Hyderabad.

But Dinesh Karthik, the 37-year-old wicketkeeper-batter, is also in line for a key role once more.

The veteran had not played for his country since 2019 ahead of the South Africa series, but he scored a boundary once every 3.9 balls against the Proteas – a leading rate – and appears likely to deputise for Pant with the gloves while again showing off his batting talents ahead of the World Cup.

India and South Africa shared the spoils in their T20I five-match series after the decider was abandoned due to rain.

Having clawed back from 2-0 down in the series to set up a winner-takes-all meeting on Sunday, India made a slow start in Bengaluru in a match that was initially reduced to 19 overs because of poor weather.

Lungi Ngidi removed both Ishan Kishan (15) and Ruturaj Gaikwad (10) to leave India 28-2, with Shreyas Iyer and captain Rishabh Pant at the crease.

But the downpour resumed, leading to the abandonment of the match with just 21 balls having being bowled.

India skittled South Africa over for only 87 to seal a huge 82-run win in Rajkot, levelling up their T20I series at 2-2 and teeing up a mouth-watering decider on Sunday.

Avesh Khan claimed outstanding figures of 4-18 as India eased to a victory even more comprehensive than Tuesday's 48-run win in Visakhapatnam.

India earlier lost Ruturaj Gaikwad (5), Shreyas Iyer (4) and Ishan Kishan (27) during the opening seven overs, but that was nothing compared to the tourists' spectacular collapse, as Rassie van der Dussen top scored for the Proteas with just 20 runs.

The hosts had been reduced to 40-3 after being put in by Temba Bavuma, but a stand of 65 between Hardik Pandya (46) and Dinesh Karthik (55) following Rishabh Pant's departure for 17 got them motoring.

Karthik's superb half-century helped carry India to a respectable 169-6, and he was only dismissed by Dwaine Pretorius midway through the final over before South Africa put in a dreadful performance with the bat.

Quinton de Kock (14) was the first to go, followed within three balls by Pretorius for a duck after captain Bavuma retired with an elbow injury.

Things only got more painful from there as Avesh ran riot, adding the scalps of Van der Dussen (20), Marco Jansen (12) and Keshav Maharaj (0) to that of Pretorius, while Yuzvendra Chahal (2-21) also made his mark as India kept their hopes of a stunning series turnaround alive.

Avesh wreaks havoc

Avesh capitalised on another fragile display with the bat and the momentum is firmly with Indiai.

If Tuesday's attempt at a chase had been poor – Heinrich Klaasen's 29 representing their best showing, Friday's was truly woeful, with only De Kock, Van der Dussen and Jansen reaching double figures during a chastening chase.

Pandya and Karthik step up

India had been wobbling early on, but Pandya and Karthik stepped up following top-order failures.

In particular, Karthik's 55 off 27 balls carried the hosts into the final over, and helped to leave the series delicately poised.

Hardik Pandya will captain India in the absence of Rishabh Pant for the two-match T20I series in Ireland, while Rahul Tripathi has received his first call-up.

India announced their 17-man squad on Wednesday for the Ireland series, which starts on June 26 in Malahide.

Pant and Shreyas Iyer will be a part of India's Test squad for the rearranged fixture against England, giving Pandya the opportunity to captain the white-ball side and Bhuvneshwar Kumar to deputise as vice-captain.

Pandya is acting as Pant's vice-captain for the ongoing five-match T20I series against South Africa, which India trail 2-1.

Tripathi has been rewarded for a fine Indian Premier League campaign, scoring 413 runs for Sunrisers Hyderabad an average of 37.6.

"I am very happy that the selectors and everybody believed in me and whatever hard work I have put in, I have got the rewards," Tripathi told PTI after the announcement. 

"And hopefully, if I get an opportunity to play, I will try and give my best."

Sanju Samson has been recalled, while Suryakumar Yadav returns after recovering from a forearm injury that ruled him out of the IPL and South Africa series.

Experienced campaigner Dinesh Karthik will come in as wicket-keeper in the absence of Pant, though Ishan Kishan or Samson can also fill in behind the stumps if needs be.

VVS Laxman will coach India on the tour, with Rahul Dravid overseeing the Test side in England.
 

India’s T20I squad: Hardik Pandya (Captain), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (vice-captain), Ishan Kishan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sanju Samson, Suryakumar Yadav, Venkatesh Iyer, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik.

Eoin Morgan says he will step aside as England white-ball captain when he feels he is no longer contributing, while he hailed Jos Buttler as "probably the best in the world".

Morgan has overseen a period of transformative change with England in limited-overs cricket since his appointment as captain in 2014.

The 35-year-old guided England to a dramatic Cricket World Cup win in the 50-over game in 2019, three years after taking his side to the T20 World Cup final.

He followed that up with another semi-final appearance at the T20 World Cup in 2021, where England were defeated by New Zealand.

England have become the dominant force in white-ball internationals, with Australian Matthew Mott taking over as the limited-overs coach ahead of the three-match ODI series against Netherlands.

Morgan will lead a much-changed side to Netherlands, with the Test series against New Zealand ongoing, before facing India and South Africa in three-match series' in both T20I and ODI cricket.

The middle-order batter has somewhat struggled for form and been hampered by injuries, though, and he admitted he will step down if he believes he can no longer deliver.

"I would love to say I am finishing here or there and that's it. I would love to work like that but the way my body is at the moment, I can't work like that," Morgan told Sky Sports.

"If I injured myself tomorrow and it was going to be quite a prolonged injury then I wouldn't be doing the team and myself any favours if I still held a commitment to finish at a certain point.

"If I don't think I am good enough or I don't feel I am contributing to the team, then I will finish.

"That's just the way I am and I hope that rubs off onto the team. Your leader doesn't have to be selfless, they can be whoever he or she wants to be, but I feel this is a better way of doing things.

"Since taking the captaincy [any lack of form] has not been a huge issue for me, simply because I know if I am not good enough to score runs or contribute then I will drop myself.

"I know I will come back into form at some stage. The cycle throughout my career has been a complete rollercoaster, so it's nothing strange."

Luke Wood and David Payne are the new faces in England's squad ahead of June's tour of Netherlands, which starts on Friday.

But there will be familiar names among the ranks, with Moeen Ali, Buttler and Liam Livingstone all part of the 14-man touring party.

Morgan picked out Buttler – who enjoyed a phenomenal Indian Premier League stint with Rajasthan Royals, scoring 863 runs to win the Orange Cap – and Moeen for special praise.

"Jos is one of the best in the world. Right here and now, he probably is the best in the world," he added.

"He enjoys that with where he is in his career, it sits well with him. The big thing you notice about how he plays is that everything he does is revolved around winning the game.

"When you are a little bit younger all you are trying to do is impact the game. The older you get it is about getting your side over the line.

"Rajasthan were heavily dependent on his runs and he took on that responsibility while also being able to take risks.

"Moeen has been incredible. He is unbelievably respected on and off the field and has given so much of himself in our changing room. He is always himself, never tries to be anyone else.

"He has the ability to break the ice but also take things seriously when needed and obviously the role he plays in the community he is from is huge.

"He embraces being that role model and I hugely admire him for that."

Harshal Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal starred as India wrecked the South Africa top order in Visakhapatnam, sealing a massive 48-run victory to reduce their T20I series deficit to 2-1.

The hosts needed to win to keep their hopes of a series triumph alive after going down to Heinrich Klaasen's career-best 81 in Sunday's four-wicket defeat.

And superb bowling displays from Harshal (4-25) and Chahal (3-20) meant they did exactly that after Ruturaj Gaikwad (57) and Ishan Kishan (54) hit half-centuries for the hosts, who scored 179-5.

The tourists produced a disappointing performance with the bat as they toiled to 71-5 and ultimately fell well short of their much-improved hosts, eventually bowled out for 131 in the final over.

Having been put in to bat by South Africa, Gaikwad and Ishan wasted little time in establishing a strong platform for the hosts, the former becoming the first dismissal of the contest in the 10th over, by which point India had 97 on the board.

While Dwaine Pretorius (2-29) eventually claimed the wickets of both Ishan and skipper Rishabh Pant (6) to keep the Proteas in contention, their hopes of wrapping up the series early were quickly shattered when they took up the bat.

The dismissal of skipper Temba Bavuma for just 8 set the tone for a dismal South African display, with Reeza Hendricks (23), Rassie van der Dussen (1), Pretorius (20) and David Miller (3) all following in a miserable start.

With India in full control, Chahal and Harshal ran riot, the latter claiming his fourth wicket when dismissing Tabraiz Shamsi for a golden duck with the final ball of the contest as the dominant hosts kept the series alive.

Dominant duo run riot

Having struggled to make headway against South Africa in the first two contests of the series, the Indian attack was back to its best in this potentially decisive third clash. 

Harshal set the tone by sending Bavuma and Hendricks tumbling early before finishing with four, while Chahal stepped up to claim his own treble, ensuring there was to be no repeat of Klaasen's heroics by dismissing him for 29.

Home openers on form

Gaikwad and Ishan's gave India a superb platform to build from, with the former recovering from his poor start to the series – in which he had previously scored just 24 runs across two innings – as the pair each hit crucial half-centuries.

Heinrich Klaasen smashed a career-best 81 as South Africa claimed a 2-0 T20I series lead with a four-wicket victory over India.

Ishan Kishan (34) and Shreyas Iyer (40) offered India a bright start at the Barabati Stadium on Sunday.

But the hosts' middle-order batters struggled before Dinesh Karthik scored a brisk 30 off 21 balls to propel India to 148-6.

Having chased an improbable 212 in the first meeting, South Africa initially struggled this time around with Bhuvneshwar Kumar reducing the tourists to 29-3 after an opening spell of three wickets for 10 runs.

Captain Temba Bavuma watched as wickets fell around him but posted an important 35 before being bowled by Yuzvendra Chahal (1-49).

Bavuma combined in a vital 64-run partnership with Klaasen, whose brutal 81 came off just 46 deliveries before he was removed by Harshal Patel (1-17) and Wayne Parnell (one) fell to Kumar (4-13).

David Miller (20 not out) then saw South Africa over the line with 10 balls to spare as the Proteas furthered their advantage in the five-match series.

Rapid Rabada

Rabada became the fourth South African bowler to claim 50 wickets in men's T20Is when he dismissed Ruturaj Gaikwad for one in the first over.

The fast bowler achieved the feat in his 42nd game, making him the third-fastest bowler from South Africa to a half-century of dismissals, behind only Dale Steyn (35) and Imran Tahir (31).

Hendricks misses opportunity

Chasing a far from imposing total, Reeza Hendricks had the chance to make his mark as an opener, replacing South Africa stalwart Quinton de Kock.

However, the 32-year-old made just four before being bowled by Kumar as he failed to leave a lasting impression in a rare opportunity at the top of the order.

David Miller and Rassie van der Dussen starred as South Africa chased a remarkable 212 to end India's 12-game T20I winning run.

Ishan Kishan (76) combined with Shreyas Iyer (36) in a destructive 80-run partnership as India posted 211-4 – the highest score in T20Is at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi.

That total was boosted by a late flurry of runs from Rishabh Pant (29 off 16 balls) and Hardik Pandya's 12-ball 31 for a much-changed India, without Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah or Virat Kohli.

South Africa soon lost captain Temba Bavuma (10) in the chase, caught behind off Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1-43), before Dwaine Pretorius and Quinton de Kock offered brief resistance.

Harshal Patel (1-43) then removed Pretorius (29), and De Kock (22) followed to Axar Patel (1-40), with South Africa 81-3 after 8.4 overs, before Miller and Van der Dussen joined in an incredible 131-run partnership.

Miller blasted 64 off 31 and Van der Dussen – dropped on 29 by Iyer – mustered 75 off 46 deliveries to complete the sixth-highest run chase in T20I history and take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

India run ends

India seemed set to move clear of Afghanistan and Romania (both 12) for the longest winning streak in the format's history and end South Africa's own four-game winning run.

But the late heroics of Miller and Van der Dussen ensured South Africa collected their 12th win in 13 T20Is, while India have won just one of their past five at home to the Proteas in 20-over cricket.

Maharaj misery in winning cause

Maharaj picked up the all-important wicket of Kishan, but the left-armer struggled against India, albeit in a winning cause.

He went for 43 from his three overs, at an economy of 14.33, but could have been helped by De Kock had the wicket-keeper not missed a stumping of Iyer on 25.

Australia survived a Wanindu Hasaranga blitz to seal a T20I series win over Sri Lanka.

For the second time in as many days, Sri Lanka produced a disappointing batting showing in Colombo, following up 128 all out in the first game with 124-9 on Wednesday.

Charith Asalanka (39) again impressed with the bat but the Australia attack fired without the injured Mitchell Starc, as his replacement Jhye Richardson and namesake Kane Richardson accounted for seven wickets.

Australia stuttered to 64-4 in reply but were still in cruise control even when Marcus Stoinis departed to leave them 80-5 in the ninth over.

However, Hasaranga gave them hope with his final over, removing Glenn Maxwell and Ashton Agar in successive deliveries before narrowly missing out on a hat-trick.

But Matthew Wade kept his composure, scoring an unbeaten 26 to steer Australia over the line and secure an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series with a three-wicket win.

Relentless Richardsons

Starc suffered a hand injury in Australia's 10-wicket win on Tuesday but his absence mattered not thanks to the efforts of Kane and Jhye Richardson.

Kane Richardson claimed 4-30 and Jhye Richardson 3-26, the latter dismissing Kusal Mendis (36) hit wicket and removing all-rounder Hasaranga (12) in the penultimate over.

 

Wow-nindu

Hasaranga was 0-27 for his two overs in the first game but bounced back in style with 4-33.

He looked to be turning the game in Sri Lanka's favour in the 12th over, deceiving Maxwell (19) with a googly and then bowling Agar through the gate. Hasaranga came agonisingly close to drawing an outside edge from Jhye Richardson, who denied him a hat-trick.

Rishabh Pant will captain India for the first time against South Africa after KL Rahul was ruled out of the five-match Twenty20 International series.

Rahul was due to lead India in the absence of the rested Rohit Sharma, but the batter has sustained a groin injury.

That has opened the door for Pant to step up, with Hardik Pandya named vice-captain after leading Gujarat Titans to the Indian Premier League title in his first tournament as captain.

Delhi Capitals skipper Pant is relishing the opportunity to lead his country in a series that starts at Arun Jaitley Stadium on Thursday.

The wicketkeeper-batter said: "It's a great feeling, especially getting an opportunity like this in your hometown.

"There is nothing bigger than this. It didn't come under very good circumstances but I will try to make most of it and give my 100 per cent."

Pant came under fire for costly mistakes he made during a must-win IPL encounter with Mumbai Indians last month, but says he will learn from such experiences.

"I think it [captaining in the IPL] will help me a lot because when you keep doing the same thing over a period of time, you tend to improve," the 24-year-old said.

"I am someone who keeps on learning from my mistakes and that's something which is going to help me in the coming days as well."

Spinner Kuldeep Yadav has also been ruled out of the series after taking a blow on his right hand in the nets on Tuesday, while Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah have been rested along with Rohit.

India will become the first men's team to win 13 T20I matches in a row if they take a 1-0 lead over the Proteas.

The tourists are also in excellent form, having been victorious in 11 of their past 12 games in the shortest format - their only loss during that time coming against Australia in the T20 World Cup last October.

 

Malik to be unleashed, Karthik returns

Umran Malik has been rewarded for a hugely impressive IPL by being called up for India duty for the first time.

The 22-year-old paceman was the fourth-highest wicket-taker in the tournament with 22 for Sunrisers Hyderabad and is a hugely exciting prospect. 

Dinesh Karthik has not played for his country since 2019, but the 37-year-old wicketkeeper-batter is back in the fold with the World Cup on the horizon.

Nortje back, Van der Dussen closing on landmark

South Africa have brought a strong squad to India and are boosted by the return to fitness of Anrich Nortje.

Nortje had been sidelined by a hip injury, but played in the IPL and is set to fire in a hostile South Africa attack.

The Proteas also have a dangerous batting line-up and Rassie van der Dussen needs only 67 runs to reach the 1,000 landmark in T20Is. If he scores those runs in his next innings, he would be the joint-fastest to reach that figure along with Faf du Plessis (32 innings).

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