Rishabh Pant not playing today’s first T20I: The Indian wicket-keeper batsman has not been included in the Playing XI for Auckland T20I.
During the first T20I of the ongoing India’s tour of New Zealand in Auckland, India captain Virat Kohli won the toss and chose to field in an understandable decision.
As compared to the last T20I which India played against Sri Lanka in Pune earlier this month, they have made as many as four changes to their Playing XI.
Vice-captain Rohit Sharma, all-rounders in Shivam Dube and Ravindra Jadeja and fast bowler Shardul Thakur have been included for opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan, wicket-keeper batsman Sanju Samson, all-rounder Washington Sundar and fast bowler Navdeep Saini.
Rishabh Pant not playing today’s first T20I
Much like the Pune T20I, India have once again not included wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant in their Playing XI. Speaking during the toss, Kohli laid emphasis on executing their skills right in the first match.
“We’re gonna have a bowl first. Looks a nice pitch to bat on. It might be hard to pick the ball up initially due to twilight. We’ve played 50-over cricket [heading to this series] and are ready for T20 cricket. The character to bounce back from difficult situations gives us an edge in alien conditions. We just gotta come out and play with belief in our abilities,” Kohli was quoted as saying.
pant, samson, saini, kuldeep and sundar sitting out #NZvsIND
— Gaurav Kalra (@gauravkalra75) January 24, 2020
While Kohli didn’t particularly give reason for not including Pant, him confirming the role of Lokesh Rahul in the pre-series press conference yesterday had pretty much made it clear that India would pick Manish Pandey over Pant.
As far as the hosts are concerned, they have left out all-rounder Daryl Mitchell and fast bowler Scott Kuggeljein for the first T20I.