As the T20 World Cup 2022 is all set to begin, Rohit Sharma & Co. will be looking to win Team India’s first title since 2007, the year MS Dhoni won the inaugural tournament. And they will be starting their campaign against none other than arch-rivals Pakistan.
After an ordinary performance in the T20 World Cup last year, Team India will be pumped up to answer their critics in style this time around. India will be taking on Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Sunday and will look to start on a winning note.
Team India’s preparations have been slightly hampered by injuries but they still have a strong squad that is capable of going all the way in the T20 World Cup. India will be making a few changes to the side that took on Australia and South Africa in their build-up series to the T20WC. With mainstream players back from the much-needed rest – Men in Blue are all set for the cricketing extravaganza.
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Here is India’s predicted playing XI for their opening encounter against Pakistan
Openers: Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul – The successful Indian opening pair will surely star India’s batting order without any doubt. This opening combination is tried and tested and management surely won’t tinker with this at all. KL Rahul has been in decent form of late with some solid knocks during Australia and South Africa series. On the other hand, skipper Rohit despite being rusty has played some vital knocks over a year or so.
No.3 and No.4: Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav – Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav are non-replaceable in the third and fourth positions. Virat Kohli has found his form back off late and will be hoping to make some difference in one of the most important positions in the game of cricket. On the other hand, Sky is arguably the best T20 batter in the world at the moment. He will be the key figure against Pakistan and the rest of the tournament without any doubt.
Wicketkeeer: Dinesh Karthik or Rishabh Pant? – This has been the biggest debate in India’s line-up this year. But Pant’s big-hitting ability might see him occupy this spot ahead of DK. Although, DK has nothing wrong to be left out of the team Pant’s record Down Under is pretty impressive and being a left-hander also gives him an advantage.
All-rounders: Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel – Allrounder Pandya will be the first name in India’s teamsheet. He can be a matchwinner for both bat and ball and he has shown that in previous series this year. On the other hand, with injured Ravindra Jadeja out of the tournament – Axar has big shoes to fill. However, The 28-year-old will be a vital cog in the powerplay overs while bowling and can contribute with the bat as well.
Pacers: Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammmed Shami, Arshdeep Singh – Shami was named Jasprit Bumrah’s replacement, and his performances this year in the IPL along with his brilliant spell in the practice match surely make him a starter. Bhuvi and Arshdeep too have made enough impression to be in the starting XI.
Spinner: Yuzvendra Chahal – Yuzvendra Chahal will be playing his first T20 World Cup and being a legspinner gives him an advantage over R Ashwin to be in the playing XI. Ashwin, could help with that bat as well but India has enough batting experience to choose an all-out specialist bowler in Chahal.
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