In the aftermath of the T20 World Cup 2022, the two teams which lost the semi-finals of the tournament, New Zealand and India will begin their rebuilding phase for the next tournament in 2024 as they clash in a series of three T20Is starting with the first match at Wellington on November 18, 2022.
Indian team is attempting to move in a new direction in absence of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, and Virat Kohli, all of whom have been rested for this entire tour. Hardik Pandya has been named the captain for the T20I series with Rishabh Pant being his deputy.
Keeping this in mind, here is the COC Predicted Team India playing XI for the 1st T20I.
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Given that both KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma are resting from this series, India has the option to try out a new opening pair with Ishan Kishan, Rishabh Pant, and Sanju Samson being the contenders for the top two spots in the batting XI.
Both Kishan and Pant have experience opening the innings for India U19 and Kishan does the job for MI in IPL. Both of them are free-flowing batters and would enjoy the freedom to hit over the top in the first 6 powerplay overs.
India also has the option of bringing in Deepak Hooda or Shubman Gill as the opener to provide the left-right combination at the top.
The middle order can then see Shreyas Iyer playing the anchor if needed with Suryakumar Yadav, Sanju Samson, and Hardik Pandya doing the fast scoring for the Men in Blue.
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Despite it being New Zealand, India might be enticed to play two spinners, one of them possibly being Yuzvendra Chahal, who warmed the bench in the entire T20 World Cup. Chahal might help with the problem India had in the ICC event of not picking wickets in middle overs to build pressure.
For the second spinner role, it can be a tossup between Kuldeep Yadav or Washington Sundar, who will lengthen the batting as well.
One area in which India is spoilt for choices is the fast-bowling department. You have the experience of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, and Mohammed Siraj to go with the youth of Arshdeep Singh and the searing pace of Umran Malik.
New Zealand wickets and conditions will help Arshdeep Singh and Umran Malik, while Harshal Patel may get the green light ahead of Bhuvneshwar as the veteran played all matches in T20 World Cup and can do with some rest.
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Mohammed Siraj can be brought in for early wickets in the powerplay, while Malik can be tried out in conditions that will aid him.
COC Predicted Team India playing XI:
Ishan Kishan, Rishabh Pant (VC-WK), Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Sanju Samson, Hardik Pandya (C), Washington Sundar, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Arshdeep Singh, Yuzvendra Chahal