The first T20I between India and England has everybody interested. It will be a clash between the two best current teams for dominance.
Here is India’s probable playing XI for the 1st T20I against England at Manchester:
Although Shikhar Dhawan was rested for the 2nd T20I against Ireland, he starred with an explosive 74-run knock in the 1st match. Dhawan had a great run of form in IPL where he started the innings for Sunrisers Hyderabad. Although he did not have a breakout season, he played some really good knocks.
Dhawan looked in fine touch in the one-off Test against Afghanistan played from the 14th of June at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. Dhawan slammed a century in the first session of the first day of the match, becoming the first Indian to do so.
Rohit Sharma was slotted at No 4 in the 2nd Ireland T0I but failed to leave a mark. However, he started the proceedings for India in the 1st T20I and missed out his century by just 3 runs. Rohit had a very bad IPL season and the Mumbaikar was not timing the ball at all.
Before the UK tour, there was a lot of controversy surrounding his selection in the team as he was not available for the decided date of the Yo-Yo test. However, after much delay he finally appeared for the test and passed it. This helped him to straight away board the flight for the UK tour.
Virat Kohli has been moving up and down the order in the T20Is against Ireland. Although he has not been able to perform for the tam, the Indian Captain is just one good performance away from getting back.
In the recent times, he has shown a tendency to bat at the top of the order but many believe that his game is most suited at one down. At the same time, he will try to accelerate with his typical controlled aggression.
KL Rahul came out to open the batting in the 2nd T20I against Ireland and slammed an impressive fifty. The Karnataka lad is in fine form and also hit a half century in the one-off test against Afghanistan as well. He will probably come to bat at number 4 this time.
Suresh Raina was back to scoring ways with a classy half century in the 2nd T20I. Raina had made a comeback to the team in the series against South Africa. He did not perform exceedingly well but he has done enough to maintain a place in the team.
Being a left hander and having lots of experience are the two things that go in his favour. He may be promoted up the order to give an impetus to the side.
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MS Dhoni would be an automatic selection for the team. He would take his place behind the stumps and also assume his role of a finisher.
Dhoni has shown signs of coming back to his explosive best in the IPL and if he can carry forward that form, it would be great for India.
Hardik Pandya performed well both with bat and ball in the T20I series. He is Virat Kohli’s favourite and would get a chance in the playing XI as a bowling all-rounder. If Pandya can give the team some economical overs and can come in the lower order to propel the score of the team, he would have done his job.
Jasprit Bumrah injured his left hand on the final delivery of the 1st T20I against Ireland. After which he was ruled out of the England T20I seies.
Umesh Yadav who had an exciting IPL and performed well in the one-off Test against Afghanistan as well, may get a game in Bumrah’s absence. Siddarth Kaul can also be played but Umesh’s chances look brighter.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar is a champion of swing bowling. In conditions that assist him, he would be a very lethal weapon.
He would take the new ball for India and try to nick a few off. He is equally good at the death as well with his knuckle balls and slower ones.
Yuzvendra Chahal is a crafty leg spinner and mixes his googlies and topspin as well along with the leg spin.nHe is not afraid of flighting the ball.
Chahal becomes all the more dangerous when the batsmen try to go after him. Chahal not only bowls economically but also gives the much required breakthroughs in the middle overs.
Kuldeep Yadav will have a place in the side for his mystery spin. Even those batsmen who regularly play him find it hard to pick him.
We saw in both T20Is that the Irish batsmen found it a nightmare picking the variations of Kuldeep. If India may go in with two spinners, which seems the likely option, Kuldeep will certainly find a place in the side. Kuldeep Yadav also received the Man of the Match in the 1st T20I against Ireland.