India vs England: Here is why Rohit Sharma is not playing the first T20I

In Rohit Sharma's absence, KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan opened the innings.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. (Photo Source: Twitter/BCCI)

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Ahead of the first T20I against England on Friday, Team India sprung a big surprise by not naming incumbent Rohit Sharma in the playing eleven. KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan were named as the openers for the series-opener at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. The surprising development came just a day after Virat Kohli confirmed India’s first-choice openers in T20I cricket.

The India skipper had said that Rohit and Rahul would be the first-choice openers. He also confirmed that Dhawan is the third-choice opener and would get a chance only if the first-choice openers are rested or injured. Unsurprisingly, the cricket fraternity was expecting Rohit and Rahul to open the innings in the first T20I.

The reason behind Rohit Sharma’s absence?

Speaking at the toss ahead of the first T20I, Virat Kohli revealed the reason behind Rohit Sharma’s absence. The 32-year old confirmed that Rohit was not a part of the playing eleven because he has been rested for the first two T20Is.

“Probably would have bowled first as well. Dew is going to be a massive factor in the second half. Got to get into the game with the ball and restrict them. We were planning to do things like batting first in these conditions where bowling in the dew becomes a factor. It’s a good way to prepare for the World Cup. The next few months will be important from a team environment. Rohit is resting for the first couple of games,” Kohli said.

Also Read: India vs England: Virat Kohli confirms Team India’s openers for the first T20I

The latest development means Rohit’s long wait to return to action in T20Is has been further extended. The India star has not played a T20I since February last year. Meanwhile, India would be looking to continue their winning run in the limited-overs format. The momentum is with the hosts after their stunning 3-1 win in the Test series.

Talking about the game, India are off to a disastrous start. Asked to bat first, India have lost KL Rahul, Dhawan and Kohli cheaply. At the time of writing this report, the Men in Blue were reeling on 34 for 3 in eight overs.