India Playing XI 1st T20 against England, KL Rahul & Rohit Sharma to open confirms Virat Kohli

India Playing XI - KL Rahul to open
India Playing XI for 1st T20 against England - KL Rahul to open

India Playing XI 1st T20 – India vs England T20 Series: Rohit Sharma is back in the Indian T20 and will open Indian innings with KL Rahul. Captain Virat Kohli has confirmed that Rohit and Rahul will start Indian innings. This means Shikhar Dhawan will miss out from the playing XI.

“Both Rohit and Rahul have done well for us and we will continue with them as openers, they will open the Indian innings”, confirmed Virat Kohli during the Press Conference for the 1st T20 against England.

As in super-hot form Rishabh Pant is all set to make a comeback to the Indian T20 XI, their was lot of speculation around KL Rahul’s place in the team.

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With skipper Kohli himself coming in at No 3 and two game-changers like Pant and all-rounder Hardik Pandya expected to play the big shots at Nos 5 and 6, the question everyone was asking was where does it ideally leave Rahul?

But team management has shown faith on KL Rahul and has decided to persist with him and Rohit as first choice openers and Shikhar Dhawan as a back up.

KL Rahul’s inclusion means Shreyas Iyer and SuryaKumar Yadav both with get a look in in the XI for 1st T20.

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India Playing XI 1st T20 – Headache is bowling combination too? Similarly, in the pace department, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, once upon a time India’s best white ball exponent, is coming back after a long lay-off and will be engaged in a two-way fight with Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur.

For Bhuvneshwar, his experience and being a better bowler at the death compared to Chahar holds him in good stead but he hasn’t played a lot of cricket save a few Mushtaq Ali games.

Ditto for Chahar, a potent outswing bowler but more of a one-trick pony with lack of variations during the back-10. Shardul is a crafty bowler who can swing it at brisk pace and among the three can use the long handle to the best effect.

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Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar and Axar Patel are the three spinners expected to feature in the playing XI on the sluggish Motera tracks. In another three-way fight, Thangarasu Natarajan, with his variation of yorkers, stands a better chance to start off compared to Navdeep Saini.

In all, there are too many good players and very little space to fit all of them with three sure-shot picks — Mohammed Shami, Ravindra Jadeja and Jasprit Bumrah already resting or recuperating from injury.

Once they come back, it will be a bigger selection headache for the management but one that they won’t mind.

India Playing XI 1st T20 : Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Ishan Kishan (wicket-keeper), Yuzvendra Chahal, Varun Chakravarthy, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Rahul Tewatia, T Natarajan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur.