India vs England: Who’ll Face the Axe to Fit in Virat Kohli


The 50-run victory in the Southampton T20I was indeed pleasing and moving ahead, Team India will eye an unassailable lead when they square off against Jos Buttler’s England on Saturday in Birmingham. The teams shift their respective bases to Edgbaston, the venue of the rescheduled fifth Test where India lost by 7 wickets despite a great start. The visitors will look to wipe out that bitter memory with another victory in coloured kits but before, the management, in all likelihood, would face the selection conundrum.

After being rested for the series opener, the likes of Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah, and Ravindra Jadeja return to the mix for the remaining two games. Things will get trickier for the Indian think tank when they look to accommodate Kohli and Pant in the playing XI.

Deepak Hooda has done a commendable job in the top order for India when Kohli was away. The former has registered scores of 47, 104 and 33 in his last three outings, and dropping out an in-form batter would definitely be an insensible move. And if the team looks to fit both in, Ishan Kishan might have to face the axe. In that case, Kohli can walk out as an opener with Rohit and Hooda continues to be at 3.

Among the wicketkeepers, there’s a toss-up between Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant. The veteran stumper was seen fumbling behind the wicket during the first T20I. Since Pant is coming in after smashing a hundred in the Test match, he might be preferred ahead of Karthik for this game.

Jadeja replacing Axar Patel is a no-brainer, especially after the former’s third Test 100 that came a few days ago at this very venue. At the same time, Bumrah’s return will likely witness either Harshal or Arshdeep getting benched for the 2nd T20I.

All these factors surely raise the curiosity of knowing the playing XI for the second fixture between India and England. Before that, we put out our predicted India XI:

Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh.

Now it’s your turn to pick your team. So, go ahead but remember, you have to pick just 11 names to form your strongest XI.

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