India vs England 1st T20 – India Playing XI for 1st T20: With just days left ahead of the opening T20I between India vs England, India is all set to lose the services of T.Natrajan. According to the available information, the young Indian pacer is unlikely to feature in the T20I series as he is currently undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy, Bengaluru. On the other hand, spinner Varun Chakravarty has failed to clear the mandatory fitness Test by the BCCI.
Ind vs Eng 1st T20 – Varun Chakravarty fails fitness test
This is not the first instance when Varun Chakravarty will be missing on a potential India debut. The 29-year-old was initially picked for India’s tour of Australia but the shoulder injury ruled him out of the series. He was the highest wicket-taker of Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2020.
Chakravarty had a lengthy rehab at NCA, Bengaluru after which the selectors picked him in the T20 squad, subject to fitness Tests. To be part of India’s white-ball cricket, it is mandatory to clear the fitness tests. Players are either asked to clear Yo-Yo Test or run two kilometres in 8.15 minutes (bowlers) and 8.30 (other players).
Ind vs Eng 1st T20 – T Natarajan still rehablitating
Natarajan will remain unavailable until March 12 due to a knee and shoulder injury. The duration of his absence and the nature of the injury could not be confirmed. The left-arm seamer was originally named in the 19-member squad for five-match T20 series in Ahmedabad.
Speaking to ANI, sources in the National Cricket Academy (NCA) confirmed the development and said that while they are not completely ruling him out, it is surely a race against time. “He is down with a knee and shoulder injury and is in doubt for the T20I series. Will have to take it one day at a time and it is a race against time,” the source pointed.
The 29-year-old had made his debut against Australia last year and went to play all three formats amid injuries to other players. He became the first Indian to make debuts in all three formats on the same tour. With his abilities to bowl Yorkers on demand, T Natarajan finished the T20I series with 6 wickets – most in series- at an economy of 6.91.
Meanwhile, Rajasthan Royals’ all-rounder Rahul Tewatia has also failed the initial fitness Test. He is currently training with the NCA. It is unsure whether he will get another chance to clear the fitness or continue as a net bowler in Ind vs Eng T20 series.
Rahul Chahar, Mumbai Indians leg spinner and one of the net bowlers, is likely to be included as a replacement of Varun Chakravarty. He had earlier played for India in a T20I in the Caribbean in 2019.
India’s T20I squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Yuzvendra Chahal, Varun Chakravarthy, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Rahul Tewatia, T Natarajan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur.
The 5-match T20I series starts from Friday this week.