Former batsman VVS Laxman has revealed his preferred playing XI for Team India for the first T20I against England. India and England will resume their rivalry in T20Is from Friday with the first game of the five-match series. The momentum is with the hosts after their thumping 3-1 win in the Test series. Brimming with confidence, Virat Kohli and Co. will be eyeing a winning start in the shorter format.
More than the result, the team management would have its eye on identifying the strongest eleven as quickly as possible ahead of this year’s T20 World Cup at home. India have named a strong 19-member squad for the T20Is. It would be interesting to see whether or not uncapped players like Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan and others get a chance.
While only time will tell India’s first combination for the series-opener, Laxman has named his preferred team for the game. Speaking on Star Sports, the former India batsman put on the selector’s hat and picked the team. The legendary batsman sprung a big surprise by leaving out Shikhar Dhawan for KL Rahul.
VVS Laxman’s team for the first T20I
VVS Laxman wants Rahul and Rohit Sharma to open the innings. For no.3 he went for skipper Virat Kohli before picking Shreyas Iyer at no.4. The next two players in his team were wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, who has not played a T20I since January last year, and all-rounder Hardik Pandya. He also added that Suryakumar might have to wait for his debut and could come into contention if the hosts manage to wrap up the series.
“It is going to be a tough choice because there is a lot of quality in that squad. But for me, for the first T20 international, I would go with KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma to open, no.3 will be Virat Kohli, no.4 Shreyas Iyer, No.5 Rishabh Pant, no.6 Hardik Pandya,” said Laxman.
“It is necessary for Suryakumar Yadav to wait. If we win the first three matches, you can play Suryakumar Yadav. You can do rotation in the bowling, you will not get the chance to rotate the batting against this team,” he added.
For the no.7 spot, Laxman picked Axar Patel ahead of Washington Sundar for the former’s stunning performance in the Test series against England. Axar was the second-highest wicket-taker in the series, picking up 27 wickets including three five-wicket hauls in three Tests. The remaining bowlers in Laxman’s team were Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal and T Natarajan.
“The kind of form Axar Patel has shown during the Test series, keeping in mind it is going to be his hometown Ahmedabad, No. 7 will be Axar Patel. No. 8 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, no. 9 Deepak Chahar, no. 10 will be Chahal and no. 11 will be Natarajan because I want to develop Natarajan as the death specialist along with Bhuvi and Bumrah,” stated Laxman.
Laxman’s XI: KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal, T Natarajan
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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