India vs Australia, T20I series: India’s strongest playing XI
India will be landing their full strength squad barring Bhuvneshwar Kumar for this series.
Updated - Feb 22, 2019 4:56 pm
No tour Down Under had been as memorable as the recent one for team India and picking up the excitement from where they left, both these amazing cricketing nations will be back in action, this time in the subcontinent. Aussies aim to cover up the indelible scars of the Test series and ODI series hammering on home soil and this probably is their best chance.
The T20I and ODI squads were announced a couple of days back and KL Rahul will be back in the mix of things taking Dinesh Karthik‘s place. While Karthik did no wrong, he didn’t do anything special either, which kept him away from the squad. India will be landing their full strength squad barring Bhuvneshwar Kumar and the ODI setup for this series pretty much looks like the one which will be sent to England for the World Cup. But before the ODIs, there will be two T20Is in Vishakapatnam and Bangalore.
Here’s the strongest XI they can plant from the T20I squad for these two games.
Openers – Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma
Two of the very best in this business, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma have chemistry envied by every opener in the world. Both players can attack and both players are capable of playing the second fiddle when needed, making them quite a versatile asset for the side.
Both these attacking cricketers will be taking on the bowlers straight away. It will be difficult for the Aussie bowlers to contain these two given the tracks provided are flat and the fans will be up for some great entertainment on the day.
Middle order – Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik
Although many experts Virat Kohli could bat at number four, it would make no sense to send your best batsman at that position in this format. The Indian skipper needs to spend as much time as possible in the middle to ensure he can leave a significant impact.
The exuberance of Rishabh Pant and maturity of MS Dhoni is perhaps a stellar combination in the middle order. Pant needs no invitation and he always takes on the bowlers from the word go. Dhoni will take his time but will also try to ensure he leaves a good mark on the side.
Dinesh Karthik will play in this series now with Hardik being ruled out. Also, the selectors haven’t named any replacement in the squad which means they will have to go with six batsmen and five bowlers strictly. Karthik will play the role of a finisher in this team as was the case in New Zealand recently.
All-rounders – Vijay Shankar, Krunal Pandya
Vijay Shankar will be batting at number 4 given he gets into the XI. His recent innings in New Zealand were pretty promising and the selectors have trusted him with a few more chances. Shankar will have to shoulder the responsibility of the fifth bowler with Hardik ruled out of the series now. This also presents an opportunity for him to showcase his skills with the ball which he couldn’t do in Australia and New Zealand.
Krunal Pandya on his day can be a devastating addition to any side. He is just about acclimatizing himself into the International circuit and looks all set for this challenge. His primary role in the side though would be to complete his quota of four overs.
Bowlers – Jasprit Bumrah, Siddarth Kaul, Kuldeep Yadav
India’s talisman in the bowling department Jasprit Bumrah will be back with the side after getting some rest. His presence instantly makes the Indian side look much better and will be pairing with the Siddarth Kaul, who has been doing a great job in T20s of late.
The biggest conundrum arises between Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, but considering previous track records and the X-factor Kuldeep provides, he might get into the XI ahead of Chahal.