After a defeat in the fifth Test match in Birmingham, the Indian team is set to commence a white-ball campaign against England. India will be playing three T20 Internationals and as many One Day Internationals.
The selectors’ committee recently announced two squads for the T20I series. One for the first game and the other one for the remaining two derbies. The regular members of the T20I team who played the fifth Test match won’t be playing the first game of the T20I series.
As announced, Rohit Sharma is set to lead the team in the game, after testing negative for COVID-19. Although, some reports suggest that the 34-year-old won’t be available for the game. However, there are no official updates regarding the matter.
The first T20I will be played on the upcoming Thursday (July 7), at the Rose Bowl, Southampton. On that note, let’s take a look at the predicted playing XI for the first T20I versus England:
1. Rohit Sharma
Indian skipper Rohit Sharma is back in the squad and will be opening the innings without any question. Sharma has played some unforgettable knocks in England, including an unbeaten ton in 56 deliveries in third T20I, back during the 2018 India tour of England. Sharma also went on to score a one more hundred in the first ODI, at the Trent Bridge, Nottingham. He scored 137* runs in 114 deliveries, with 15 boundaries and four sixes. The Indian team shall expect the same from the right-hand batter.
Though, if Sharma doesn’t play, Ruturaj Gaikwad will be the one to replace him.
2. Ishan Kishan
Left-hand batter Kishan has been an opener for India on several occasions and has gained much experience in the position. Moreover, Kishan was the highest run-getter (206 runs in five innings) for India in the home series against South Africa (June 2022).
Kishan also looked in good touch during the Ireland series, followed by a couple of tour games versus Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire respectively. So, he should be the top contender for the place.
3. Deepak Hooda
Deepak Hooda was at his best in the T20I series against Ireland nearly a week ago. Hooda, in those couple of games, scored 151 runs, at a massive strike rate of 175.58. He also smashed a century before smashing a half-century against Derbyshire, in a tour game.
It was his IPL stint which reserved a place for him in the Indian team. Hooda, for Lucknow Super Giants (LSG), scored 451 runs in 14 innings and was among the top ten run-getters of the tournament. His current form suits the number three position in the Indian team, in absence of Virat Kohli.
4. Suryakumar Yadav
Yadav, during the IPL this year scored three half-centuries and notched 303 runs in 8 innings, at an average of 43.28 and a strike rate of 145.67. The right-hand batter with aggressive gameplay hasn’t been able to find the track since his return after injury concerns during Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022. However, Yadav’s experience and his recent knock of 36* runs in 22 deliveries against Derbyshire hint at the 31-year-old’s efficacy.
5. Dinesh Karthik
Karthik, the wicketkeeper-batter and the man of comebacks is certainly an easy choice for the skipper. Karthik has played some crucial cameo knocks since his return. He scored 92 runs in four innings, at a strike rate of 158.62 and an average of 46, in a home series versus South Africa. The 37-year-old also smashed a fifty in the fourth game of the series and aided India to put on a respectable total. Karthik’s quick partnerships with Hardik Pandya in death are a big positive for the Indian team, considering the upcoming game.
6. Hardik Pandya
He bats, he bowls, he fields. Pandya is a complete cricketing package for his side. Considering his last outing in the white-ball series in England, the team can expect a few blasts from the 28-year-old. Pandya was the highest wicket-taker in 2018 T20I series in England. He picked 6 wickets in 3 innings then.
It was IPL again, which redefined Pandya in all ways. He was the fourth highest run-scorer of the tournament, with 487 runs in his account. He also picked 8 wickets while leading his side to the title. Pandya made a serious return to the national side and in India’s last home series versus South Africa, he scored 117 runs in four innings, at a strike rate of 153.94
7. Axar Patel
The left-arm spin bowling all-rounder Patel hasn’t picked many wickets but has bowled reasonable spells. Patel, in the IPL 2022, picked 6 wickets at an economy of 8.25 and score 182 runs in 10 innings, at an average of 49.78. Furthermore, Patel captured 3 wickets in SA series, bowling reasonable spells. Patel provides an excellent batting option and can be a reliable bowler in English conditions.
8. Harshal Patel
After another prime IPL season, Harshal was the highest wicket-taker in South Africa series. He managed to capture 19 wickets in the IPL, while versus SA, Harshal picked 7 wickets. In his most recent outing against Northamptonshire, Harshal played a vital knock of 54 runs in 36 deliveries and also took a couple of wickets later. Aware of the English conditions now, Harshal can pull off his role in a beneficial way.
9. Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Kumar needs neither introduction nor advocation. The right-arm pacer had been facing a row of injury concerns, but he returned strongly via the IPL 2022, picking up 12 wickets in 14 innings, at a reasonable economy of 7.34.
He also captured six wickets in four innings, against South Africa. Kumar’s ability to swing the new ball can turn out to be troublesome for English batters. Kumar, in absence of Jasprit Bumrah, will be leading the young Indian pace unit, for the first game.
10. Yuzvendra Chahal
If there was any award as ‘the Best Comeback of the Year,’ Chahal would have been the one to get it. After being the highest wicket-taker (27 wickets in 17 innings) of the IPL 2022, Chahal just went on with his reasonable spells regardless of the opposition. He also picked 6 wickets in the SA series and who can forget his stingy spell of 1 for 11 in 3 overs against Ireland. Considering his experience and the most recent spell of 2 for 25 against Northamptonshire, Chahal is unquestionably Sharma’s go-to-leggie.
11. Arshdeep Singh
Singh couldn’t debut for India despite his impressive IPL figures this year. The left-arm pacer was given a couple of chances against Derbyshire and Northamptonshire respectively. Proving himself as the right choice Singh ended the tour matches campaign with the same and fabulous spells of 2 for 29, in both games. Singh, being a left-arm pacer adds a lot and has been excellent in the death overs particularly.
Written By Prachi Pisal