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Predicting India’s Playing XI for their first T20I against Zimbabwe

World T20I champions India are all set to take on Zimbabwe in a five-match T20I series starting on Saturday, July 6. The first match will take place at the Harare Sports Club in Harare at 4:30 PM (IST). The two teams have met eight times in the shorter format of the game, with India emerging victorious on six occasions.

For India, the series will mark a new beginning in 20-over cricket. With the likes of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja retiring, an exciting opportunity awaits the young players to cement their spots. It is noteworthy that Shubman Gill is gearing up for his first captaincy duty for Team India.

Here is India’s predicted playing XI vs ZIM for the 1st T20I:

Openers: Shubman Gill (c), Abhishek Sharma

Predicting India's Playing XI for their first T20I against Zimbabwe
Shubman Gill and Abhishek Sharma

Shubman Gill and Abhishek Sharma are likely to open the innings. After being left out of the Indian squad for the recently concluded T20 World Cup, Gill will be now eager to lead the team from the front and prove his mettle. He has performed decently for Gujarat Titans (GT) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024.

Abhishek was a sensation in the IPL for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). In the absence of Yashasvi Jaiswal, who is currently in India with the World Cup team, the southpaw is likely to get a chance for the first two matches. He was ruthless as an opener for SRH in the powerplay and will aim to replicate in his international debut.

Middle-order: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Riyan Parag, Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma (wk)

Predicting India's Playing XI for their first T20I against Zimbabwe
Rinku Singh and Jitesh Sharma

India’s middle order looks strong with the likes of Ruturaj Gaikwad, Riyan Parag, Rinku Singh and keeper-batter Jitesh Sharma. Batting at No. 3 and opening, Gaikwad finished the season as the second-highest run-scorer in the IPL 2024 with nearly 600 runs.
Meanwhile, Parag, who scored 573 runs at an average of 52.09, was in his 2.0 version. The No. 4 batter was one of the most consistent batters for Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the last IPL edition. Batting at the same position, the right-hander will aim to continue his fine form in the blue jersey.
Rinku Singh did not have a great outing in the IPL 2024, which left him out of the T20 World Cup squad. However, the southpaw boasts an impressive record at the international level and will be the key in the upcoming series for India. In the absence of Sanju Samson, Jitesh will be standing behind the stumps for the first two matches.

All-rounder: Washington Sundar

Predicting India's Playing XI for their first T20I against Zimbabwe
Washington Sundar

Washington Sundar has not been a regular feature in the Indian side, despite making his debut in all three formats. Injuries have always kept him on the sidelines and it will be crucial for him to seal a spot in the XI considering the tight competition. The left-hander has played 43 T20Is, scoring 107 runs and picking up 34 wickets.

Also Read: 3 reasons why Shubman Gill should sit out in the second T20I

Bowlers: Avesh Khan, Mukesh Kumar, Ravi Bishnoi, Harshit Rana

Predicting India's Playing XI for their first T20I against Zimbabwe
Bowlers Mukesh Kumar

Avesh Khan, Mukesh Kumar and Harshit Rana will take care of the pace-bowling unit. All three of them have been impressive in the IPL 2024 for their respective franchises. Notably, Rana will be making his international debut and will be looking to start on a high note.

Ravi Bishnoi failed to shine for Lucknow Super Giants this season and for the same reason, he was not considered for T20 World Cup selection. The leg-spinner has played 24 T20 matches so far and has taken 36 wickets with a best bowling figure of 4/16. He will get support from Sundar in the middle overs.
India’s Predicted XI vs ZIM

Shubman Gill (c), Abhishek Sharma, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Riyan Parag, Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Washington Sundar, Avesh Khan, Mukesh Kumar, Ravi Bishnoi, Harshit Rana

 

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