Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan to lead the two best T20 playing 11 for Team India with Rahul Dravid and Ravi Shastri as a coach.
For probably the first time in the history of Indian cricket, we are seeing two International teams playing in two parallel series. There’s the team with all senior players planning to play the Test series vs England, and there’s the alternate squad already playing the limited-overs series vs Sri Lanka.
Interestingly, we also have two seperate coaches for these two separate teams. While the Test team has Team India’s primary coach, Ravi Shastri as the head coach, the limited-overs squad sees Team India’s U19 coach, Rahul Dravid donning the coaching duties.
But one thing that’s common between these two teams, is the players, who are suited to play the shortest format of the game, T20 Cricket. Thanks to IPL, we have players from both the teams well suited for the T20 format. With T20 World Cup 2021 just a few months away, it gives us an interesting viewpoint to analyze two separate T20 squads for two separate teams.
So, in this article, we will look the two best T20 playing 11 for Team India with Rahul Dravid and Ravi Shastri as coach. With more than 40 players representing the two teams, we will consider players who are more suited to the T20 format, and have performed the best in T20s in the last two years.
Team Rahul Dravid: Shikhar Dhawan & Prithvi Shaw
Team Ravi Shastri: Rohit Sharma & Mayank Agarwal
The opening department for Team Rahul Dravid sees their current Delhi Capitals pair, Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw as the opening duo. Team Ravi Shastri should have Ideally seen Team India’s best T20 opening duo, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. But since KL Rahul is needed in the middle-order to fill the gap, Mayank Agarwal shall be the opening partner for Rohit Sharma.
Performance-wise from these 4, Shikhar Dhawan has been the best performer in the T20s in the last two years followed by Rohit Sharma. Moreover, in terms of current best T20 playing 11, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, and Shikhar Dhawan seem set for the T20 World Cup with Mayank Agarwal as the second backup and Prithvi Shaw as the third backup.
Team Rahul Dravid: Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer & Ishan Kishan (WK)
Team Ravi Shastri: Virat Kohli, KL Rahul & Rishabh Pant (WK)
Coming to middle-order, Team India’s captain, Virat Kohli will undoubtedly bat at number 3 for Team Ravi Shastri. He will be followed by IPL’s best batsman in the last three years, KL Rahul, and Team India’s current heartthrob, Rishabh Pant at number 5. Apart from these 3, Team Ravi Shastri has Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara as the backups.
For Team Rahul Dravid, an exception has been made, and Shreyas Iyer has been included in the playing 11. We all know that if fit, Shreyas Iyer would have toured to Sri Lanka to play the limited-overs series. He would have also been preferred above other players. Hence, Iyer at 4 seems apt.
Between Sanju Samson, Ishan Kishan, and Manish Pandey, Sanju Samson seems the best bet for the T20 format. Even in the current Sri Lanka series, Sanju was preferred above Kishan. Looking at the current form, it is not a bad option either. Coming to number 5 for Team Dravid, we have Suryakumar Yadav, who has been in the stunning form off-late in the T20 format.
Team Rahul Dravid: Hardik pandya & Krunal Pandya
Team Ravi Shastri: Ravindra Jadeja & Washington Sundar
The two best all-rounders for Team India for the T20 format are kind of exchanged. While Team Rahul Dravid has Hardik Pandya, Team Ravi Shastri has Ravindra Jadeja. For T20 World Cup, Hardik and Jadeja would be the ideal number 6 and Number 7 for Team India.
Coming to two best backups, Sundar and Krunal Pandya make up the squad for Team RS and Team RD respectively. Sundar has been one of the most preferred for the T20 format for Team India. Whereas Krunal has always been preferred as the second backup all-rounder.
Team Rahul Dravid: Deepak Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T Natarajan & Yuzvendra Chahal
Team Ravi Shastri: Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur & Mohammed Siraj.
Taking about the bowlers, Team Ravi Shastri has Jasprit Bumrah as the leading pacer with support from Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur, and Mohammed Siraj. These 4 pacers combined with Jadeja and Sundar would be a lethal bowling attack to have. While not the strongest, 3 of them shall definitely be preferred in the strongest T20 playing 11 for Team India.
Team Rahul David would rely on the swing duo of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Deepak Chahar as the leading two pacers. Whereas, T Natarajan shall provide good death-overs support. Yuzvendra Chahal would be an ideal wicket-taking option for the middle overs. These 4 shall have good 5th bowler support from Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya.
In case Team India decide to play an extra spinner, Axar Patel shall replace Shardul Thakur for Team Ravi Shastri. Whereas for Team Rahul Dravid, Varun Chakravarthy or Rahul Chahar shall replace T Natarajan. However, it would completely depend on the pitch. But since we have selected a pitch-agnostic playing 11, Shardul Thakur and T Natarajan are better bets.
Best T20 Playing 11 for Team India with Rahul Dravid as Coach:
Shikhar Dhawan (C), Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan (WK), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Deepak Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T Natarajan & Yuzvendra Chahal.
Best T20 Playing 11 for Team India with Ravi Shastri as Coach:
Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohli (C), KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj & Jasprit Bumrah
Apart from the above 22 players, we have another strong third team filled with youngsters. This includes Shubman Gill and Devdutt Padikkal as openers. Ishan Kishan at 3, Manish Pandey at 4, and Nitish Rana at 5. Axar Patel and Krishnappa Gowtham as all-rounders at 6 and 7. Varun Chakravarthy and Rahul Chahar as the leading spinners. Navdeep Saini and Chetan Sakariya in the pace department.
Thanks for reading! Which T20 playing 11 looks the best for Team India. Team Rahul Dravid or Team Ravi Shastri? Please email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adesh Kothari is the founder of AK4Tsay1 Cricalytics.
Cricket to him is like what ‘Football is to Lionel Messi’, ‘Singing is to Lata Mangeshkar’, ‘Dancing is to Michael Jackson’, and what ‘Acting is to Clint Eastwood’.
Besides his effervescent love for Cricket, Adesh is an MBA by qualification.