Former cricketer Wasim Jaffer has picked India’s playing XI for the first game of the three-match T20I series, scheduled to commence on July 7 (Thursday) in Southampton. The visitors will look to finalize their combinations starting this series for the ICC T20 World Cup 2022, scheduled to take place later this year in Australia.
Incidentally, a few first-choice players, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, and Rishabh Pant won’t be available for selection for this match and will be back for the second T20I. However, India has also received a boost in the form of captain Rohit Sharma, who missed the recent Edgbaston Test, which the visitors lost by seven wickets.
Speaking on ESPNcricinfo, Wasim Jaffer picked his best 11 for the first match. He said:
“I’ll open with Rohit Sharma, who is coming back and will captain; then Ishan Kishan, who is in really good form, Deepak Hooda, again in very good form, Suryakumar Yadav at No. 4, Hardik Pandya No. 5, Dinesh Karthik No. 6, Harshal Patel No. 7, Ravi Bishnoi, Yuzvendra Chahal and then two fast-bowlers.”
Speaking of the pacers, Wasim Jaffer’s vote went to veteran Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Avesh Khan, while he picked Harshal Patel as an all-rounder. Jaffer left out rookie fast bowler Umran Malik, who recently made his debut against Ireland.
“I’ll definitely play Bhuvneshwar Kumar. I will also go with Avesh Khan because he was rested. I think Avesh will play and Harshal will play as an all-rounder,” Jaffer added.
“Now India need to play its best 11” – Wasim Jaffer
Explaining his choice of Avesh over Umran, Jaffer said there aren’t many T20Is left between now and the 2022 T20 World Cup. He went on to explain that India can’t afford too much experimentation and should stick to playing their best 11 as much as possible.
“I think now India needs to play its best 11 because you won’t get to play a lot of T20s and need to settle on a team combination. Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel and Bhuvneshwar Kumar – I think these three fast-bowlers are the best option,” Jaffer concluded.
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