Aus vs India 2020: Team India to field 7 batsmen, 2 all-rounders, and 6 bowlers as we look at the predicted first-choice 11 for the T20 International series.
The shutters of the Indian Premier League (IPL) are gently proceeding down, as the 13th edition of the tournament is just a few days away from the conclusion. Although the attention is still firmly on the tournament, it is not long before the spotlight shifts. Reason – Team India will finally be back in business after a forced break of close to eight months.
Starting November 27th, the Indian Team will travel to Australia to play 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is, and 4 Test Matches. The tournament will mark the first international assignment of the ‘Men in Blue’ in the post-COVID era. Last week, the squads for the entire tour were announced. The absence of the declared injured, Rohit Sharma does raise a few eyebrows, but overall, the touring party looks competent enough to pose a challenge.
In this article, we take you through Team India’s most likely starting XI for the T20Is. While IPL performances will have an impact, the first-choice XI will wear a similar look to the recent XI’s of Team India. Before the playing XI, let’s have a look at Team India’s T20 squad for the Tour of Australia.
Team India’s T20I squad for the Tour of Australia:
Virat Kohli (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul (VC &WK), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Sanju Samson (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, and Varun Chakravarthy.
In: Deepak Chahar, Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal, Sanju Samson, and Varun Chakravarthy.
Out: Kuldeep Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Rohit Sharma, Shivam Dube, and Shardul Thakur.
Openers: KL Rahul & Shikhar Dhawan
If you go by recent form, KL Rahul will walk straight into the playing XI along with Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah. Maybe, that is why the selectors handed him the vice-captaincy for the limited-overs’ series in Australia in the absence of Rohit Sharma. That aside, Rahul did really well in the T20Is against New Zealand a few months ago, and he will be expected to repeat the same down under. He has been in good touch, and will definitely be the squad’s go-to batsman under the circumstances.
Shikhar Dhawan has had an interesting IPL so far. While he struggled at the start, he made amends with two consecutive centuries. His fearless approach in the latter half of the tournament has paid dividends, and if he continuous to do so, the pair of KL and Dhawan could be a dangerous one. However, if Rohit Sharma proves his fitness, Shikhar would have to wait longer for his chance.
Middle-order: Virat Kohli (C), Shreyas Iyer & Manish Pandey
Despite the calls for a change, India’s middle-order will still be the same for the initial games. Virat Kohli might not be having the best of IPLs, but he is the captain of the team and also the squad’s best batsman. He would be gunning to come back to form in style, which he usually does in Blue.
At No.4 and 5, Team India would start with Shreyas Iyer and Manish Pandey. The duo has played together, and have been in decent knick in the IPL. However, Sanju Samson also in the setup, Shreyas and Manish will have to grab all their chances. While Shreyas could be given a longer rope due to his age, Manish’s chances could be limited if he does not perform.
All-rounders: Hardik Pandya & Ravindra Jadeja
After returning from his back injury, Hardik Pandya has looked alright with the bat. However, he has not been bowling, and this could have implications with Team India. A T20 team needs to have a sixth bowling option, and if Hardik cannot provide exceptional acceleration at the death, Virat could look at other options. That said, to start with, Hardik will play at No. 6 for the first couple of game at least.
Ravindra Jadeja’s contribution lower down the order for CSK means, his finishing skills will be a bonus for Team India at No.7. Moreover, Jadeja is someone who depends on line and length more than the purchase of the pitch. Hence, his role will be vital for Team India in this format in Australia.
Bowlers: Deepak Chahar, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah & Yuzvendra Chahal
Despite being ineffective in IPL, for his ability to pick wickets in the powerplay, Team India would persist with Deepak Chahar. The CSK player can also bat a bit, and that would make his case stronger. However, Navdeep Saini has been in good form and will prove to be a tough competition for Deepak to deal with.
The remaining three will form the core of India’s bowling unit. Yuzvendra Chahal will come in as the leading spinner, while the Jasprit Bumrah-Mohammed Shami duo will be India’s primary bowling weapons across formats. To Team India’s advantage, all three have been doing well in IPL. However, the management might manage the workload of the pace-duo by shuffling the unit in the T20 series.
Aus vs India 2020: Predicted First-Choice T20 11 For Team India:
KL Rahul (VC &WK), Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (C), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, and Yuzvendra Chahal.
Thanks for reading! What’s your first-choice XI for Team India for the T20Is? Please, let us know in the comments below.