ICC t20 world cup
India's captain Virat Kohli, third right, and teammates celebrate their win in the first One Day International cricket match between India and England. (AP Photo).

Team India has established itself as a force to reckon with in the shortest format of the game. Virat Kohli and his men have dominated teams at home as well as in foreign conditions.

Talking about the Men in Blue’s recent performances in T20Is, the team defeated Australia 2-1 Down Under before edging England 3-2 on home soil in March. Since the ICC T20 World Cup is scheduled to be held in India, Virat and Co. are favourites to lift the coveted title.

The last time India hosted a T20 World Cup, they lost out to West Indies in the semifinals. However, this time, India has the squad depth to go all the way and win the trophy for just the second time in their history.

Meanwhile, here is Team India’s predicted playing XI for ICC T20 World Cup 2021:

Openers: Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan

Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan

Rohit Sharma is a well-established player in white-ball cricket, especially T20 cricket. He missed the T20I series against Australia last year due to an injury. He, however, looked in fine touch against England at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

Shikhar Dhawan, on the other hand, has a knack for performing well in ICC competitions. Considering the experience he has, and also his recent blitzkrieg, the 34-year-old is likely to retain his spot at the top of the order, despite the emergence of Ishan Kishan.

Middle-Order: KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (C), Rishabh Pant (WK)

Virat Kohli and KL Rahul (PICTURE: AP)

KL Rahul has enjoyed much success at the top of the order in T20 cricket. However, he might have to bat at number 3 or even further down the order due to the tried-and-tested combination of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma.

Many might suggest that Virat Kohli should not bat at no.3 but the captain himself might not have any issues with that, especially considering his brilliant record in that position. His strike rate and average at no.4 are much better than at no.3.

Rishabh Pant is likely to keep the gloves and bat at no. 5. The 23-year-old, however, is going through a purple patch in his career which might allow the team management to promote him to no.3 or 4, depending on the situation.

All-Rounders: Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja

Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja

Hardik Pandya is a proven match-winner in white-ball cricket. He will be the key to India’s success at the ICC T20 World Cup 2021. His fitness, however, could be an issue to guarantee him a place in the team. His absence, also, might open up a window of opportunities for his brother, Krunal.

Ravindra Jadeja is another match-winner in the team, who can make the difference with his batting, bowling, and his fielding as well. If he is not scoring runs, he can turn the game on its head with his disciplined bowling. And, even if he is having a rough day in both departments, he can still have a big say in the outcome of a game with his acrobatic fielding.

Bowlers: Ravi Bishnoi, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj and T Natarajan

Ravi Bishnoi

Ravi Bishnoi is the prime candidate to replace Yuzvendra Chahal as the marquee spinner. Though he is yet to play an international match, Bishnoi has all the skillsets to succeed at the highest level. However, his selection in the team will depend on his performances in the second half of IPL 2021.

Jasprit Bumrah has plenty of experience of playing in ICC tournaments, having made his debut in the ICC T20 World Cup on home soil in 2016. He is now Team India’s marquee pacer across formats and will lead Team India’s bowling attack in the tournament. So far in his career, Jasprit Bumrah has played 50 T20I games, picking up 59 wickets for the nation.

Mohammed Siraj might’ve played just three T20Is his recent exploits in the international circuit, as well as the Indian Premier League (IPL), could find him a place in Team India’s playing XI. Also, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami’s injury concerns could ease his path even more.

T Natarajan is currently on the sidelines due to a thigh injury he picked up after playing just 2 games for SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) in IPL 2021. But, the left-arm pacer can fully recover from his injury and make a comeback to the side for the T2o World Cup. However, he will have to return with some impressive figures in the second half of IPL 2021, likely to be played in September.

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