India are all set to host Afghanistan for the three-match T20I series, scheduled to begin on January 11 in Mohali. Recently, BCCI announced India’s squad, which witnessed the return of star senior players Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. Notably, both Rohit and Kohli last played a T20I game against England at during the 2022 T20 World Cup semi-final in Australia.
The battle against Afghanistan is crucial as its India’s final T20I series before the forthcoming T20 World Cup 2024, slated to be played in the USA and West Indies in June. No wonder, BCCI opted to pick a full-strength squad for this series.
Although, the likes of Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya were not picked for the battle against the Afghans as the duo was ruled out due to their respective injuries. With many stars in the squad, it would be interesting to see who will get the nod in the final playing XI for the upcoming T20I leg. On that note, lets have a look at what could be India’s best XI for this series:
India’s best playing eleven for the T20I series against Afghanistan:
Rohit Sharma (c): As the appointed captain for the T20I series against Afghanistan, Rohit Sharma, a seasoned campaigner in white-ball cricket, brings a wealth of experience with him. Known for his aggressive batting style, Rohit’s ability to take charge of the game and lead from the front makes him a formidable force.
With a blend of tactical acumen and a natural flair for big hits, all eyes will be on Rohit as he aims to steer the Indian team to victory and set a positive tone for the series and the forthcoming T20 World Cup.
Yashasvi Jaiswal: The explosive young opener, Yashasvi Jaiswal, will partner Rohit as he has earned his place in the playing eleven with a series of impressive performances. His aggressive approach and fearless batting have caught the attention of cricket enthusiasts, making him a key player to watch in the series against Afghanistan.
Jaiswal’s ability to provide a solid start at the top of the order will be crucial in setting the foundation for India’s innings. As a rising star in Indian cricket, the left-handed batter’s inclusion signals a commitment to nurturing and integrating young talent into the national squad, adding an exciting dynamic to the team’s batting lineup.
Also READ: BCCI announces India’s squad for T20I series against Afghanistan; Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli make comeback
Virat Kohli: Positioned in the crucial number three slot, Virat Kohli’s presence in the middle order adds a sense of stability and dependability. The former captain, widely regarded as one of the best batters in the world, brings his unparalleled consistency and match-winning abilities to the T20 format.
Kohli’s adaptability and skill in building an innings make him a linchpin in the batting order, capable of steering the team through challenging situations. As a senior statesman, Kohli’s assistance in leadership within the team will undoubtedly contribute to a cohesive and determined unit aiming for success against Afghanistan.
Tilak Varma: The inclusion of young batting sensation Tilak Varma reflects India’s commitment to nurturing emerging talent. Tilak, known for his elegant stroke play and ability to anchor the innings, brings a fresh perspective to the middle order. His recent performances have garnered attention, and the T20I series against Afghanistan provides an ideal platform for him to showcase his skills on the international stage. Tilak’s presence adds a touch of youthfulness to the team, aligning with the broader strategy of blending experienced campaigners with promising youngsters.
Sanju Samson (wk): Renowned for his explosive batting and wicketkeeping skills, Sanju Samson’s versatility adds depth to the squad. Samson’s ability to accelerate the run rate and play innovative shots makes him a valuable asset in the T20 format. With his experience in domestic and franchise cricket, Samson’s inclusion provides the team with a seasoned campaigner who can handle pressure situations with composure. As a dynamic presence in the middle order, Samson’s contribution with the bat and behind the stumps adds a layer of stability and firepower to the Indian lineup, enhancing the team’s prospects in the series against Afghanistan.
Finisher and all-rounder:
Rinku Singh: In the role of a finisher, Rinku Singh brings versatility to the squad with his ability to contribute with his attacking skills in the slog overs. Rinku’s aggressive batting style makes him an asset, especially in the shorter formats. Rinku’s attacking batting capabilities provide an additional dimension, giving the captain strategic options during crucial phases of the game.
Axar Patel: Known for his left-arm spin and handy batting skills, Axar Patel offers a valuable all-round package to the Indian side. Axar’s ability to contain runs with the ball and contribute crucial runs down the order enhances the team’s flexibility.
As a seasoned campaigner in the T20 format, his experience and skill set make him a key player in the team’s quest for success against Afghanistan, particularly in conditions that might favor spin bowling.
Promising bowling attack:
Ravi Bishnoi: The inclusion of the young leg-spinner, Ravi Bishnoi, adds a spin dimension to the bowling attack. Bishnoi’s ability to generate turn and deceive batters has earned him a spot in the playing eleven. As a rising star in the spin department, his performance will be closely watched, and he has the potential to be a game-changer, especially in the middle overs where spinners often play a pivotal role in restricting the opposition.
Arshdeep Singh: Providing a left-arm pace option, Arshdeep Singh brings variety to the Indian bowling attack. With his ability to swing the ball and generate pace, Arshdeep can pose challenges to the Afghan batters. As a promising fast bowler, his role in providing breakthroughs with the new ball and maintaining pressure during the death overs will be crucial in shaping the team’s success in the series.
Avesh Khan: Avesh Khan’s inclusion in the squad highlights the team’s emphasis on pace and aggression and his presence in the XI will strengthen Indian pace attack. Known for his ability to bowl consistently at a high pace, Avesh can be a potent force upfront with the new ball. His knack for picking up early wickets and putting pressure on the opposition sets the tone for the bowling unit.
Mukesh Kumar: The selection of Mukesh Kumar, a promising medium-fast bowler, bolsters the pace department. Mukesh’s ability to generate bounce and extract movement makes him a valuable asset, especially in conditions that favor seam bowling.
As India aspire for a well-rounded bowling attack, Mukesh’s inclusion adds depth and options to the team, providing the captain with flexibility in choosing the right combination based on match conditions and opposition strengths.