India vs New Zealand: India’s strongest predicted playing XI for 1st T20I

India vs New Zealand: India’s strongest predicted playing XI for 1st T20I

After the T20 World Cup 2021, team India is all set to take on New Zealand in the home series.

Indian cricket team
Indian cricket team. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

After the T20 World Cup 2021, team India is all set to take on New Zealand in the home series. The teams are scheduled to play three T20Is and two Test matches starting from November 17. The Black Caps has had an edge over the Men in Blue in the ICC events lately and thus the latter would be all determined to settle the scores.

With a few key names missing in the T20I squad, it is expected that new faces might make it to the playing XI. Venkatesh Iyer, Harshal Patel, and Avesh Khan who had a splendid IPL 2021 are picked in the side for this series and might get a chance in the coming games if India takes an early lead. For the players who did not appear to be at their absolute best in the T20 World Cup, it will be a great opportunity to get their rhythm back.

The two teams will battle it out against each other in the first T20I at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium. It would be intriguing to watch if the management brings in some surprise elements by giving opportunities to the new faces in the first game itself.

Here is India’s predicted playing XI for IND vs NZ first T20I:

Openers – KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul
Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

Keeper-batter KL Rahul has been in splendid form lately. He chipped in huge runs in the IPL 2021 and finished as the highest run-getter for the Punjab Kings. Rohit Sharma’s heroics in the white ball are known to all. Though both the players struggled a tad bit in the initial two games of the T20 World Cup, they bounced back stronger in the next games.

Both Sharma and Rahul stitched in some important partnerships and provided the side with steady starts. Their contributions at the top order will be crucial for the side to take command of the game against the Kiwis. Moreover, Sharma will have an added responsibility as he is all set to lead the side as a full-time captain in the shortest format.

Middle-order – Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant

Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav. (Photo by Matthew Lewis-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

Ishan Kishan looked a bit out of form in the second leg of the IPL initially. However, in the end, he produced impressive shows with the willow to get back his rhythm. With Virat Kohli rested for the T20Is, Kishan will have a great opportunity to deliver big whilst coming one down.

Suryakumar Yadav, on the other hand, looked decent in the T20 World Cup 2021. He will be determined to perform for the side and make a larger impact on the team. Shreyas Iyer was impressive in India’s home series against England, he will look forward to reflecting the same. His presence in the middle order provides enough belief and depth to the team’s batting order.

Rishabh Pant carried his good momentum in the mega event. He played some important cameos to help the team chip in some crucial runs.  The keeper-batter will look forward to bringing his attacking game to the fore in order to shift the gears for the team down the order.

All-rounders – Deepak Chahar and Ravichandran Ashwin

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

Deepak Chahar comes in handy with his all-rounder abilities. The bowler picked up 14 wickets for Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2021 and will play a vital role in providing the team with crucial breakthroughs. He also possesses the ability to score quick runs which is evident from his innings of 69 runs off 82 deliveries against Sri Lanka in the second ODI earlier this year.

Ravichandran Ashwin has a plethora of experience under his sleeves. He wasn’t included in the playing XI of team India in the initial two matches of the T20 World Cup 2021. However, when he made the cut against Afghanistan, he displayed his fiefdom to the world. The off-spinner will have his spirits high entering into this series and will be a crucial player for the side.

Bowlers- Yuzvendra Chahal, Avesh Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Chahal experienced a lean patch with the ball in the first leg of the IPL and also missed out from India’s T20 World Cup squad. The leg spinner, however, bounced back stronger in the UAE leg of the IPL and brought a shift in his fortunes. His contributions will be important for the side.

In the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar will have the responsibility of leading the team’s pace attack. Owing to his golden form in IPL 2021, Avesh Khan might receive a green signal for the first T20I. The pacer disturbed the best of batters in the IPL with his lethal Yorkers and finished the tournament with 24 wickets to his account.