Contest at the top
There are 19 players available for selection for India-England T20I series. So the XI for those games will be an indication of how head coach Ravi Shastri, captain Virat Kohli and bowling coach Bharat Arun are looking at the next six to seven months for the shortest format. This is going to be the most important period ahead of the T20I World Cup. The management might think of first winning the series and then go for experimenting.
The comeback of Rishabh Pant will lead to a lot of interesting developments. KL Rahul was the first-choice wicketkeeper even a few months back. Now it is unlikely for him to do the job after Pant’s inclusion. Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma were a settled white ball opening pair but Rahul’s emergence as a potent white-ball specialist in recent times will lead to brainstorming sessions in team meetings. In case KL is sent at the middle order, fitting him in will be not so easy. Virat Kohli comes at No 3 with Rishabh Pant and all-rounder Hardik Pandya expected to play the big shots at Nos 5 and 6. So, KL can be well adjusted at No 4 but Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav are contenders for the same position.
Fights in bowling departments
When it comes to the pace department, there’s another healthy competition. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was once India’s best white-ball exponent but is coming back after injury. He will have to be in a race with Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur. For Bhuvneshwar, his experience and being a better bowler at the death will work as a pro whereas he lacks practice. Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, and Axar Patel are the three spinners expected to be picked.
T Natarajan and Navdeep Saini are another set of players who will be involved in a contest. The same is applicable for Ishan Kishan and Rahul Tewatia. However, these two can be called up only in case of injuries. Mohammed Shami, Ravindra Jadeja, and Jasprit Bumrah already resting or recovering from injuries. Their comeback will make things tougher for the Indian cricket team management which they will surely cherish.