Sun, 23 Feb 2020

KL Rahul should give you plenty of points

ESPNCricInfo
24 Jan 2020, 16:42 GMT+10

January 24: New Zealand v India, 1st T20I, Auckland

Our XI: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson, Rishabh Pant, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami

NOTE: We might not always be able to tip you off about a late injury (or other relevant) updates.

Captain: KL Rahul

One of the few Indian batsmen who attack right from the start. Unlike in ODIs, where he doesn't have a fixed batting spot, Rahul is slotted to open in T20Is. With three 50-plus scores in his last five innings in the format, it's a good punt to make him the captain of your side. Not to forget the points behind the stumps.

Vice-captain: Virat Kohli

Whatever the format, you cannot afford to leave Kohli out of your XI. Among those who have played at least 20 innings in the format, he has the highest average (52.72). And if India are chasing, you may consider swapping Rahul with him as the captain.

Hot picks

Rohit Sharma: The man with four T20I hundreds. Once he gets a start, even if it's not a blazing one, expect him to convert it into a big score. He might not have a great record in or against New Zealand but it's a small sample size and it would be foolish to not pick him based on that.

Colin Munro: Another dangerous opener who can score hundreds in the shortest format. In seven T20Is against India, his 248 runs - including a career-best 109 not out - at an average of 41.33 and a strike rate of 165.33 make him a hot pick.

Yuzvendra Chahal: Legspin is the way to go in T20Is and in Chahal, India have a potent weapon. Chahal not only bowls in the middle overs but also inside the powerplay, which gives him a higher probability of picking up wickets as batsmen look to cash in on the field restrictions. Just make sure he is in the playing XI.

Value picks

Rishabh Pant: He missed the second ODI against Australia due to a concussion and wasn't picked for the decider but T20I is Pant's strongest suit. He can play his natural game more often than not and within a blink of an eye, can give you plenty of points.

Mitchell Santner: A fingerspinner who puts batsmen under pressure by restricting the flow of runs and in turn, induces false shots to pick up wickets. Can contribute with the bat as well, and that makes him a valuable pick overall.

Point to note

Shikhar Dhawan has been ruled out of the tour with a shoulder injury and has been replaced by Sanju Samson in the T20I squad; Kohli has said that Rahul will likely keep in the T20Is too, ahead of Pant.

More Auckland News

Access More

Sign up for Auckland News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!