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India’s playing XI vs Eng for 1st T20: KL Rahul or Shikhar Dhawan? Who will open with Rohit Sharma?

India’s playing XI vs Eng for 1st T20: KL Rahul or Shikhar Dhawan? Who will open with Rohit Sharma?

Ind vs Eng 1st T20, Rahul or Dhawan?
India’s playing XI – Ind vs Eng for 1st T20: Big Question – Who will open India’s innings in 1st T20 alongside Rohit Sharma? Will it be Shikhar Dhawan or will it be IPL 2021 Orange Cap holder KL Rahul? This is the biggest question in front of Virat Kohli and the Indian think tank […]

India’s playing XI – Ind vs Eng for 1st T20: Big Question – Who will open India’s innings in 1st T20 alongside Rohit Sharma? Will it be Shikhar Dhawan or will it be IPL 2021 Orange Cap holder KL Rahul? This is the biggest question in front of Virat Kohli and the Indian think tank as they finalize the squad for 1st T20.

Dhawan or Rahul in India Playing XI ? Shikhar Dhawan has been India’s opening pair mainstay for long, but the emergence of KL Rahul has intensified the competition. Also with Rishabh Pant’s emergence as a match-winner & certainly in the middle order, team India can afford to pick only 1 of Rahul or Dhawan in the Indian XI.

Indian middle order is too packed at this stage and their is no space to accomodate Rahul or Dhawan.

Dhawan or Rahul in India Playing XI ? The Karnataka-born’s performance in the last couple of years with the white-ball has given Indian selectors options beyond the likes of Dhawan and other batting mainstays.

In IPL 2020 scored 670 runs in 14 matches and was grabbed the ‘Orange Cap’. Owing to his performance he bagged a place in the T20I squad for the Australia tour.

In Rohit Sharma’s absence, who was nursing a hamstring injury, Rahul and Dhawan were picked as the opening pair in Australia.

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It was a mixed performance by both the batsmen in the three T20I series. Both Rahul and Dhawan scored 81 runs each in three matches including one fifty to their names.

However, unlike Rahul, Dhawan joined the Indian squad after scoring 150 odd runs in Vijay Hazare Trophy. Rahul returned to the Indian squad after recovering from a thumb injury he suffered during the Australia tour.

T20I stats since July 2019

Player Mat Inngs Runs Avg SR 100s/50s
Rahul 18 17 663 44.2 139.58 0/7
Rohit 14 14 442 34 144.92 0/5
Shikhar 14 13 359 27.62 120.88 0/2

As opening pairs in T20Is

Pair Inngs Runs Avg 100s/50s Highest
Rohit – Shikhar 52 1743 33.52 4/7 160
Rohit – Rahul 11 558 50.73 2/1 165
Shikhar – Rahul 7 306 43.71 0/4 97

 

So who is a better choice to partner with Rohit Sharma?

Ind vs Eng for 1st T20 – India’s playing XI: VVS Laxman and Devang Gandhi pick KL Rahul over Shikhar Dhawan

Former India batsman VVS Laxman during Star Sports show Cricket Connected picked Rahul over India’s mainstay Dhawan. During an episode, he was asked if Dhawan is regaining his form in the Vijay Hazare Trophy will put KL Rahul’s spot in the playing XI at stake.

In reply, he said: “It is going to be a tough question as far as the selection of the second opener is concerned, there is no doubt about that because Rohit Sharma is an automatic choice in white-ball cricket. But I will still go with KL Rahul because over the last few months and years, I think the Indian team management went with KL Rahul as an opening batsman and he has done really well in that position.

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Former Indian selector Devang Gandhi echoed Laxman and said that the Delhi-batsman is no more India’s first-choice opener in the T20 format. “KL and Rohit are your opening pair in T20s going into the World T20. Shikhar will be the reserve opener and will have to wait for his turn. Maybe during the ODIs, he can be given a chance if the ODIs are also treated as an extension of T20 preparation,” Gandhi was quoted as saying by The Times of India (TOI)

Besides, the opening pair dilemma, the Indian think tank will also be concerned about the right bowling combination.

India’s playing XI vs England for 1st T20I: What will be India’s bowling combination?

With Jasprit Bumrah, India pace battery spearhead, out of the series due to personal reasons, the slot for the pacers is up for grabs.

Notably, Bhuvneshwar Kumar is back in the mix after recovering from a thigh muscle injury.

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For Bhuvi, his experience and his speciality of bowling in death overs gives him extra points over competitors Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur.

It is likely that the Indian selectors pick him as their lead pacer in Bumrah’s absence. The question however will remain about who will be his deputy?

Both Thakur and Chahar comes with different bowling prowess. Chahar, a potent outswing bowler can be deadly with the new ball. But the lack of variations can act against him during the selection process.

Thakur is a crafty bowler and can swing with both old and new balls. Also, his newfound skill with the bat will be a big bonus for India.

In the spin department, Yuzvendra Chahal will take the charge. Both Washington Sundar and Ahmedabad Test star Axar Patel are expected to start. The duo will give India a long batting tail and are proven white-ball specialists.

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.

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