India came up with another T20I combination as Rishabh Pant opened the innings with captain Rohit Sharma in the 2nd T20I against England in Birmingham on Saturday, July 9. India made as many as 4 changes as they dropped the likes of in-form Deepak Hooda, Arshdeep Singh, Axar Patel and Ishan Kishan from the XI as the Test regulars returned to the XI.
India have been opening with Ishan Kishan in T20I cricket in the absence of KL Rahul, who has been sidelined due to an injury. Kishan opened the batting at home against South Africa in June, and continued to play the role in the 2 T20Is in Ireland.
Even after Rohit Sharma returned to the XI for the first T20I against England on Thursday, Ishan Kishan retained his spot as the opener.
However, on Saturday, India tried Pant at the top of the order as Ishan Kishan made way for the in-form wicketkeeper-batter who headed into the 2nd T20I after having hit a hundred and a fifty at the same venue – Edgbaston – in the rescheduled 5th Test against England earlier this month.
Pant has never opened before in the T20I format of the game although he has done the role in domestic T20s. Notably, India were expected to open with Virat Kohli and Rohit but the team management sprung a surprise by sending Pant with the skipper at the top.
Pant has not managed to set the T20I format on fire. The wicketkeeper-batter managed just 84 runs in 5 T20Is when he led India against South Africa at home last month.
Notably, India have a problem of plenty for almost every spot in the lead up to the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year. On Saturday, India retained Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik for the lower middle-order role and sent Pant higher up the order.
India also dropped in-form Deepak Hooda, who has in fine form at No. 3, and brought back Kohli, who is under pressure due to his lean patch across all formats of the game.
India Playing XI for 2nd T20I in England
Rohit Sharma (c), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Harshal Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal.
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