Jitesh IN, Samson OUT? Strongest India Playing XI for Afghanistan T20I Series

The Indian squad for Afghanistan T20Is has plenty of surprises, as it has some unexpected names.

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced India’s squad for the Afghanistan series starting this week. The rubber will consist of three T20I, kicking off on January 11 in Mohali before the caravan moves to Indore and Bengaluru in the second and third games. The squad has plenty of surprises, as it has some unexpected names.

The veterans Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have made a return to the T20I setup after being unavailable from the format for more than a year. Their last outing in T20Is was against England in the semifinal of the T20 World Cup 2022 in Adelaide. Since then, the duo have focused on Test and ODI formats as they prepared for the World Test Championship and World Cup in 2023.

Hardik Pandya and Suryakumar Yadav, who led the Men in Blue in this format in Rohit’s absence, are unavailable due to injury. Ishan Kishan is also out of the squad, with the reports suggesting that the selectors are looking beyond him in the T20 World Cup. Shreyas Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Siraj are also missing.

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The pace attack will see familiar faces like Mukesh Kumar and Arshdeep Singh. Ravi Bishnoi, Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel will be the spin options. The coaches and captain will have an arduous job of picking the XI.

Strongest India Playing XI for Afghanistan T20I Series

1. Rohit Sharma (c)

2. Yashasvi Jaiswal

3. Virat Kohli

4. Tilak Varma

5. Jitesh Sharma (wk)

6. Rinku Singh

7. Axar Patel

8. Ravi Bishnoi

9. Arshdeep Singh

10. Avesh Khan

11. Mukesh Kumar

As the first T20I between India and Afghanistan approaches, India will be planning to form a formidable playing XI against a strong Afghanistan side. The return of Rohit Sharma will see him take the opening slot, potentially with Yashasvi Jaiswal. Shubman Gill might sit out, at least in the first game.

Virat Kohli will bat at No.3, possessing a fabulous record at this position. Tilak Varma will take the No.4, while Jitesh Sharma will play next to him. He will also keep the wickets.

Rinku Singh will bat at No.6 and do the finishing duties in the lower order. Axar Patel will be the sole all-rounder in the XI and take the No.7 position. The hardest job will be to select one between Ravi Bishnoi and Kuldeep Yadav.

Bishnoi might get the nod ahead of Kuldeep since he has been a consistent performer in this format lately. All three pacers - Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan and Mukesh Kumar - will grab the remaining slots. It will be the strongest playing XI of India for the first T20I.


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