Arshdeep Singh or Avesh Khan ? Predicting India's Playing XI for 1st T20I vs West Indies
After clinching the One Day International (ODI) series with a 3-0 scoreline, the Men in Blue and the Men in Maroon are set to be in action again today, but in a different format as the T20I series begins from today onwards, 29th of July.
The Indian team showcased their dominance in the ODI series to record a clean sweep over the hosts with a slightly rotated team that saw Shikhar Dhawan lead the team while star players missing from the squad.
But, focus now shifts to T20 cricket as some top guys return to the team to play in the T20I while some who were only a part of the ODI squad, will be leaving the Caribbean Island very happy.
However, the T20I series is not gonna be a cakewalk for the Indian team and the selectors knows that, which is why, not many star players have been rested, also given the fact that West Indies is a 2 time T20 World Champion. This series will also work as a great preparation for both the team before the T20 World Cup 2022 to be played in Australia later this year.
Today in this article, we predict Team India's Playing XI for the 1st T20I that is to be played Trinidad's Brian Lara Stadium from 8 PM IST.
There are certainly doubts over who will be India's opening duo for the series. With KL Rahul now also unavailable for the series, it makes it even harder to guess. However, it is no tough ask to guess that India captain Rohit Sharma will be one the two, but who will be 2nd is the question. With Rahul out, the two option that India has at their disposal is Ishan Kishan and Rishabh Pant.
For a reminder, the Indian team opted with Rishabh Pant as a opener for the 2nd and 3rd T20I against England while Ishan was there in the 1st one. And with Dinesh Karthik working the role of a finisher, we are predicting Rishabh Pant to be open again. Thus, Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant could be opening for India.
There is also dilemma over the middle-order too. There is battle for spot in the middle-order. Suryakumar Yadav and Shreyas Iyer will battle for the number 3 slot in the XI, but it is likely that Iyer will pip Surya for that while Surya will be selected at number 4. The number 5 slot will be very much occupied by Deepak Hooda, who showed a great calibre in the UK tour. As mentioned above, with Pant moving to opening, Dinesh Karthik will play the role of a finisher at number 6.
We are picking 2 all-rounders in our XI. While Hardik Pandya is certain, Axar Patel has also proved his worth in the ODI series. It makes it further guarantee for Axar given that Ravindra Jadeja is still not fully fit. Thus, Hardik Pandya at number 7 and Axar Patel at number 8 is our choice.
With no Jasprit Bumrah, experienced Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be the lead bowler in the series and will be batting at number 10. We have not picked any proper spin bowlers in the XI because, Kuldeep Yadav has just recovered from injury while Ravi Bishnoi will have to wait for his opportunity. We have picked Harshal Patel at number 9 because of his batting ability as well and has been fantastic with the ball as well.
Now, the battle for number 11 is a little tough to guess. Avesh Khan and Arshdeep Singh are likely to battle for that position. Arshdeep was great in the debut match against England and formed a great partnership with Bhuvneshwar Kumar. However, Avesh Khan might pip him in terms of experience. However, it is certain that Arshdeep Singh will get opportunity to play in this series.
Our Playing XI
Rohit Sharma (C), Rishabh Pant (WK), Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Harshal Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan