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India’s playing XI from their first T20I – Where are they now?

Only a handful of players from their first T20I game are still part of the national side.

Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag
Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag. (Photo Source: PAL PILLAI/AFP/Getty Images)

In the year 2005, the first of the many shortest version of the game took place at the international level. Australia and New Zealand battled against each other at the Eden Park in Auckland on 17th February 2005 in the only T20I in which Australia won by 44 runs. Australian captain Ricky Ponting top-scored with 98 as they amassed 214 in their 20 overs before bowling out their Trans-Tasman rivals for 170.

On the other hand, the Indian cricket team played their inaugural game in the shortest version on 1st December 2006. As part of the bilateral series in South Africa, a one-off T20 international was included between the two sides. The men in blue registered their second victory in the tour post their winless run in the ODI series. Their only other win came in the first of the three Tests. Captained by Virender Sehwag, India scored their winning run off the penultimate ball after a tidy bowling performance that restricted the Proteas to 127 in their allotted 20 overs.

Dinesh Karthik was crowned the man of the match award for his valuable innings of 31 off 28 deliveries under pressure. A year later, India emerged triumphant in the inaugural World T20 which was one of the biggest turning points in Indian cricket. However, only a handful of players from their first T20 game are still part of the national side or are still in the reckoning. The rest have moved on from the sport or had their careers turned upside down.

We take a look at the whereabouts of India’s playing eleven from their first T20 game:

Virender Sehwag

Virender Sehwag of India
Virender Sehwag. (© Getty Images)

Virender Sehwag had fulfilled the role of the opening batsman for the men in blue for a long time. Along with Sachin Tendulkar, the swashbuckling right-hander used to wreak havoc on the bowling attacks around the globe. The pair has accumulated 3919 runs in 93 ODI innings at an average of 42.13 while opening the batting.

In India’s first T20 game, the 41-year old got his team off to a whirlwind start in pursuit of 128 before being run out of 34 off 29 balls. Sehwag also participated in the Indian Premier League, having played for Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) and Kings XI Punjab.

He announced his retirement from all forms of cricket in October 2015. During the same year, Sehwag was part of Sachin’s Blasters in Cricket All-Stars three-game T20 series. Off the field, the Delhi batsman is known for being outspoken and candid in Twitter that has landed him in controversies more often than not. In recent times, Sehwag also featured in commercials where he was seen mocking the touring party.

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