After the completion of the Test series, India and England will engage in a series of five T20I matches all of which will be played at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Motera, Ahmedabad.
The five T20I matches will be played on March 12, 14, 16, 18, and 20. The first of the T20Is will see both India and England kicking off their preparations for the ICC T20 World Cup in India to be played in October-November.
Therefore, COC presents the Predicted Team India Playing XI for the first T20I against England.
KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma are expected to be preferred as first-choice openers, given their astonishing record at the top for India in T20Is. The duo has added 1019 runs in 18 innings for India at an average of 59.94 with their highest partnership being 165.
Though Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma have the most runs as an opening partnership in T20I history with 1743, Dhawan has fallen out of contention due to his form and injuries, while KL Rahul with his tremendous record in 20-over cricket becomes the more logical choice.
Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, and Hardik Pandya are expected to be the middle order. Kohli and Iyer have made the no.3 and 4 positions their own thanks to excellent performances.
Rishabh Pant is expected to keep the wickets, in place of KL Rahul, and given his current form in red-ball cricket, he is expected to cement his place in the white-ball format as well.
Hardik Pandya was back with a bang against Australia in ODIs and T20Is recently and he and Pant give India the firepower it missed for some time at the end of the innings.
Hardik was also seen bowling in India nets, and if he can deliver his four overs in every match, it will help India play an extra seamer, batsman, or spinner as per conditions.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shardul Thakur may be given preference over Deepak Chahar for the upcoming first T20I against England.
Bhuvneshwar is returning from an injury but had a decent outing in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 trophy for India. Shardul was excellent in Australia with the white ball.
As for spinners, India might go for Washington Sundar given that he bowls at the start and England also has some dangerous left-handed batsmen in their lineup, whom Sundar may counter with his off-spin.
Yuzvendra Chahal and Akshar Patel might be included in the Indian Playing XI as two proper spinners with the added advantage of Akshar’s batting abilities. Chahal has been the wicket-taker for India for a long time now and Akshar receives his chance with white-ball in absence of Ravindra Jadeja.
COC Predicted Team India Playing XI for the first T20I against England:
KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (C), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (WK), Hardik Pandya, Akshar Patel, Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal