Team India will play their second match of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 campaign against New Zealand in Dubai on Sunday, October 31. Virat Kohli-led team will be under pressure as another defeat could end their hopes of a semi-final berth in the ongoing event. Even New Zealand lost to Pakistan in their opening game of the tournament. Here’s a look at India’s predicted XI for the match against New Zealand.
Openers: Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul
India are likely to open with Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul despite their failure in the first match of the tournament. While Rohit failed to score, Rahul was dismissed cheaply. They were undone by Shaheen Afridi. Rohit is one of the best batsmen in T20Is and has hit 4 hundreds. Rahul, on the other hand, has been unstoppable in the slam-bang version of the game. India should stick with the tried and tested pair for the all-important match against the Kiwis.
Middle-order: Virat Kohli (c), Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wk)
Virat Kohli was the only batter, who looked comfortable against Pakistan. The right-handed batter scored an impressive 57 but his fifty could not help India as the Men in Green won the match by 10 wickets. Suryakumar Yadav looked comfortable before the rush of blood resulted in his downfall. He should be replaced by Ishan Kishan, who has been scoring runs in recent times. Also, New Zealand have no off-spinner in the team and Ishan can take full advantage of the situation. There were calls to drop Hardik Panday after another below-par performance with the bat but it seems Virat will continue with his number one all-rounder for another game.
India’s dynamic wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant will bat at the No. 6 spot. The left-hander’s confidence was high against the arch-rivals and played some good looking strokes during his stay at the crease.
All-rounders: Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur
The team management could go for Shardul Thakur, who was among wickets for Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League 2021. He played a key role in his team’s title victory. There is every chance of him replacing out of form Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who looked rusty against Pakistan. Ravindra Jadeja is expected to play in the second game. The veteran all-rounder is a complete package and he can lead India to win on his day.
Bowlers: Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Varun Chakravarthy
Jasprit was the only Indian bowler who troubled Pakistan openers in Dubai. Virat failed to utilize him as the pacer was used for three overs. Mohammed Shami had an ordinary day and the fast bowler conceded 43 runs from 3.5 overs. However, he is one of the best bowlers and is likely to bounce back against the Kiwis. Varun Chakravarthy was taken for runs in the first clash of the tournament. He looked clueless and the dew further impacted his bowling. He is bound to get another game.
India’s predicted XI for the clash against New Zealand – Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (C), Ishan Kishan, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Varun Chakravarthy