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Australia vs India: Visitors name 12-man squad for the T20I series opener

Rishabh Pant to keep wickets.

Virat Kohli of India and Aaron Finch of Australia
Virat Kohli and Aaron Finch. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Following their 3-0 clean sweep against Windies, India are now scheduled to play three T20Is against Australia, which gets underway tomorrow at The Gabba in Brisbane. Melbourne and Sydney are the venues for the remaining two encounters. The visitors are ranked second in International Cricket Council’s (ICC) T20I rankings for teams while the Aussies are placed third in the table.

However, both have had contrasting fortunes in the format of late. Aaron Finch and Co lost the one-off T20I against South Africa in Queensland. On the contrary, the Men in Blue were dominant in their erstwhile series and demolished Carlos Brathwaite’s men. In the meantime, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced a 12-man squad for the T20I series opener.

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Krunal retains his place

Delhi-born Virat Kohli, who took a break in the T20I series against the Caribbean team, is set to don the captain’s hat. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar are most likely to open the batting with KL Rahul at number three. It will be interesting to see where Virat bats. Baroda all-round cricketer Krunal Pandya had an impressive debut series, having impressed with both willow and leather.

Khaleel Ahmed, who also debuted in the series, has been able to convince the selectors with some sterling performances, both with the new and old ball. Yuzvendra Chahal picked up two wickets in the Chennai T20I after being sidelined from the eleven in Kolkata and Lucknow.

A toss up is expected to happen between Krunal and Chahal for the reason that Kuldeep Yadav will most probably feature in the eleven and India are highly unlikely to field three spinners. Rishabh Pant is the designated wicketkeeper after playing as a specialist batsman against Windies

Here is the 12-man squad

Rohit Sharma (VC), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (C), Rishabh Pant (wk), Dinesh Karthik, Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed, Yuzvendra Chahal

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