Indian National Cricket team will look to start their campaign against Australia on a high when they clash in the first T20I at Visakhapatnam on February 24 (Sunday). Meanwhile, the men in blues are coming from the back of successful tours in Australia and New Zealand and will be keen to continue their winning run.
However, Sunday’s clash will see the return of skipper Virat Kohli and fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah. The duo has been the top performer for the men in blues across the formats and India’s success will depend on them. But they will miss the service of all-rounder Hardik Pandya with a lower back strain. BCCI have named veteran all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja as his replacement; however, it is highly unlikely that he will slot into the playing XI.
On the bowling front, Umesh Yadav will return to action after the selectors decided to give some rest to Bhuvneshwar Kumar. On the other hand, Yuzvendra Chahal will have the task to lead the spin department with Kuldeep Yadav missing from the T20I squad.
Let us look at India National Cricket team’s predicted XI for the 1st T20 against Australia at Visakhapatnam:
Rohit Sharma is in his prime touch and will look to continue from where he left in New Zealand. He along with Dhawan has formed a significant pair and will be keen to provide good opening stands to set the tone for the batsmen to follow.
Shikhar Dhawan has blown hot and cold in Australia and New Zealand but will look to pick up as Indian National Cricket team begin their home series. Dhawan’s ability to smack the new ball will be pivotal as they aim to start the series on a high.
Virat Kohli will return to action after missing the last two ODIs and the T20I series against New Zealand. He will be fresh and will look to get going exactly from where he left. The selectors have managed the workload of Virat Kohli efficiently and they will continue doing so as they want a fit Kohli to enter the World Cup.
Most of the people have regarded Rishabh Pant as the future of Indian cricket after his recent stint in Australia. The young southpaw, however, has is task cut out if he wants to make it to the World Cup squad in England.
Dinesh Karthik has struggled due to inconsistency and as a result, has been in and out of the side. He needs to score runs on a regular basis if he is keen to hold onto his berth in this Indian National Cricket team line up.
MS Dhoni has been in stellar form right from the start of 2019 and he will be keen to carry that form as Indian National Cricket team marches towards the ICC World Cup. Also, his experience from behind the stumps will also come into play at some stage of the game.
Vijay Shankar has finally started showing his mettle in the international circuit after struggling initially to match upto his reputation. With Hardik Pandya ruled out with a back strain, Shankar needs to rise up to the occasion and perform the job of a genuine all-rounder.
Krunal Pandya has done significantly well in his capacity in the shortest format of the game. His ability to contribute in all the departments has made him a captain’s favourite and he will aim to live upto the expectation.
After a rest for a good few weeks, Jasprit Bumrah will return to action when the T20I series begins against Australia. He has been India’s no 1 bowler and will have to lead the pack as they march towards the World Cup.
Umesh Yadav is making a comeback into the T20 side on the back of an impressive Ranji Trophy stint. He has inspired Vidarbha to their consecutive titles with superb bowling. Umesh will have to continue his form and wreck havoc in Australia’s batting order.
Yuzvendra Chahal has done a fantastic job in the last few years for Indian National Cricket team in the limited over version. With Kuldeep Yadav rested, the onus will be on Chahal to do the bulk of the job to restrict the Aussie batters.