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India vs England 2021: 1st T20 International Predicted Playing 11

Rohit Sharma’s return, the focus as we look at the stats preview and predicted playing 11 for Team India for the 1st T20 International vs England. 

0-1 was the scoreline for Team India after the end of the first Test match vs England. It felt as if 2012 was going to repeat in 2021, but Team India played to their strength of spin bowling, and bounced back to win the Test Series 3-1. As a result of the series win, India qualified for the final of the WTC alongside NZ, which is to be played from 18-22 June 2021 in Southampton.

So, after a dominating win for Team India in the Test Series vs England, the focus now shifts to the limited-overs cricket, and we have the T20Is, to begin with. Both teams pack some really nerve-wracking players in this area, and the T20I series promises to be a treat for Cricket lovers. 

If we also look at the history, England have a slight upper hand winning 8 matches, whereas India have won 6 matches with 2 matches being ended as a Tie. The last time these two teams played a T20I series in England in 2018, the result ended in India’s favour as 2-1.

Coming to the squad for Team India, there are as many as 4 new faces in the team. The likes of which include Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Rahul Tewatia, and Varun Chakravarthy. Apart from these 5, we have Rohit Sharma, Axar Patel, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar returning to the T20I squad. 

So, what does the team combination looks like for Team India for the 1st T20 International? Let’s find out in this article as we look at the state preview and predicted playing 11 for Team India for the 1st T20 International vs England. Before that, let’s quickly skim through Team India’s T20 International squad.

India vs England 2021: Team India’s Official T20I Squad: 

Batsmen: Ishan Kishan (WK), KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant (WK), Rohit Sharma (VC), Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav & Virat Kohli (C)

All-rounders: Axar Patel, Hardik Pandya, Rahul Tewatia & Washington Sundar

Bowlers: Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur, T Natarajan, Varun Chakravarty & Yuzvendra Chahal

India vs England 2021: Key T20I Stats 

Total T20Is Played: 16

India: 6 Wins // England: 8 Wins // NR: 2

India vs England T20I Batting Stats:  

346 – Most Runs by Virat Kohli (India)

49.3 – Best Batting Average by MS Dhoni (India) (Min 200 Runs)

155.5 – Highest Strike Rate by KL Rahul (India) (Min 200 Runs) 

101*(54) – Highest Score by KL Rahul (India)

2 – Most 50+Scores by K Rahul (India)

17 – Most Sixes by Eoin Morgan (England)

36 – Most Fours by Virat Kohli (India)

India vs England T20I Bowling Stats:  

9 – Most Wickets by Yuzvendra Chahal (India)

9.6 – Best Bowling Average by Harbhajan Singh (India) (Min 5 Wickets)

5.4 – Best Economy Rate by Yuvraj Singh (India) (Min 5 Wickets)

8.4 – Best Bowling Strike Rate by Irfan Pathan (India)

6/25 – Best Bowling figures by Yuzvendra Chahal (India)

1 – Most 4-wicket haul by Kuldeep Yadav (India)

2 – Most Maidens by Harbhajan Singh (India)

Predicted Playing 11 – Team India

Openers: Rohit Sharma & Shikhar Dhawan

The return of Team India’s best limited-overs opener, Rohit Sharma would make things interesting in the opening department. While Rohit is definitely going to open, one of Shikhar Dhawan or KL Rahul should partner Rohit at the top.

Dhawan has done decently in T20Is and IPL off late as an opener. In IPL 2020, Dhawan had amassed more than 500 runs and in T20Is, Dhawan has 2 fifties to his name in 5 matches. His competitor, KL Rahul, on the other hand, is actually the best T20 player going around.

Ideally, in the current scenario, KL Rahul should open with Rohit Sharma in T20Is, but Dhawan too deserves a place in the XI. In such a scenario, Dhawan can open alongside Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul can play at number 3. That’s the same combination we had seen when all three played together a couple of years back.

Middle-order: KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (C) & Rishabh Pant (WK)

The last time KL Rahul played at 3 with Dhawan and Rohit Sharma at the top, he smashed a stunning century. In the same match, Virat Kohli played at number 4. We can see this combination repeating as Shreyas Iyer hasn’t been in good form in T20Is off late. In fact, Shreyas Iyer was even dropped from the T20I squad in the 1st T20I vs Australia, and gave below-par returns in the next two. 

Team India have categorically made it clear that KL Rahul won’t keep in limited-overs matches going forward. Hence, Rishabh Pant, who too was dropped from the T20Is in the last couple of series would be making a comeback. Pant was in stunning form in the Whites vs England, and would want to continue doing the same in the T20Is too.

Team India also have good middle-order backups in the form of star Mumbai Indians’ players, Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan. Both were in stunning form in IPL 2020 and also in the domestic circuit in the last year or so. Both can add good firepower in the middle-order, but they might have to wait a bit before they debut in T20Is. 

All-rounders: Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar & Axar Patel

Team India’s best finisher at the moment, Hardik Pandya would play a key role vs England in the T20Is. He was scintillating vs Australia in the last series, having adjudged Player of the series. He would once again play a key role as the Finisher. However, will he be able to bowl is still a question mark.

Partnering Hardik in the finisher all-rounder role should be Washington Sundar and Axar Patel. Sundar has been a regular feature of the T20I squad, and his current form should make his selection easier. Axar Patel, meanwhile, is coming off a fantastic Test series. It was here in Ahmedabad he created havoc with his bowling. If the pitch assists turn, Axar would be the go-to man for India in place of a 3rd pacer. 

Bowlers: Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar & Yuzvendra Chahal 

The biggest news in the bowling department would be the return of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who last played a T20I in Dec 2019. Being the senior-most pro, he would lead the pace attack for India. Alongside him would be Shardul Thakur, who was Impressive in T20Is last year. Shardul also provides a good attacking option down the order. 

Meanwhile, T Natarajan, who was the find of India’s last Australia tour would be unavailable for the first T20I. It is understood that Natarajan is currently undergoing rehabilitation at NCA in Bangalore. However, BCCI is yet to make a final announcement on the same. If the pitch doesn’t assist spin much then Deepak Chahar can be played for Axar Patel. 

Coming to the lead spinner, none other than Yuzi Chahal to take that place. Chahal has been India’s best spinners over the years, and Team India rely heavily on him on the middle-overs. However, fans would miss the deadly combo of Kuldeep & Chahal (KulCha) after Kuldeep was ignored for the T20Is.

So, that completes the predicted playing 11 for Team India for the 1st T20 International vs England. 10 players are confirmed to play in the starting 11. The only question would be whether India play Dhawan as an opener or play Shreyas Iyer or Suryakumar Yadav in the middle-order. 

India vs England 2021 – Predicted Playing 11 for Team India for 1st T20 International: 

Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (C), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (WK), Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Axar Patel / Deepak Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur & Yuzvendra Chahal. 

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