Rohit Sharma will be rested for the first two T20I matches against England.
After securing a 3-1 series win, Team India are playing the first T20I against England in Ahmedabad. However, they brought a surprise for everyone as India captain Virat Kohli has revealed that swashbuckling opener Rohit Sharma will rest for the first two matches of the series.
In his absence, Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul will open the batting for India. However, the announcement came just after a day when Virat Kohli himself had announced that KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma will do the needful at the opening for India whereas Dhawan will be the third opener as well.
“Dew is going to be a massive factor in the second half. Got to get into the game with the ball and restrict them. We were planning to do things like batting first in these conditions where bowling in the dew becomes a factor. It’s a good way to prepare for the World Cup. The next few months will be important from a team environment. Rohit is resting for the first couple of games,” Virat Kohli said after England won the toss and elected to field first in the opening T20I of the five-match series.
Meanwhile, India’s decision to rest Rohit Sharma at the starting of the series surprised many, which also included the former India wicket-keeper batsman Parthiv Patel, who referred to it as a “breaking news”.
“It is breaking news that Rohit Sharma is not playing”: Parthiv Patel
“It is breaking news that Rohit Sharma is not playing. It gives Shikhar Dhawan a chance to get into the groove. He has been playing well in domestic cricket,” Parthiv said on Star Sports.
Meanwhile, Rishabh Pant has also come back to the squad and he would don the keeping gloves. However, Parthiv Patel said that it will help KL Rahul to play more freely in the series.
“Rahul has been keeping for the last two years, so he can play more freely now, express himself,” further added Parthiv Patel.
However, no other changes have been made as no new faces have been added. Shreyas Iyer was preferred over both the new players – Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shardul Thakur will lead the pace department whereas three spinners – Axar Patel, Washington Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal will look after the spin attack for India.
India (Playing XI): KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (C), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (W), Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal
England (Playing XI): Jason Roy, Jos Buttler (W), Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan (C), Ben Stokes, Sam Curran, Jofra Archer, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood