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  5. Rishabh Pant to keep wickets as India name 12-man squad for 1st T20I vs Australia

Rishabh Pant to keep wickets as India name 12-man squad for 1st T20I vs Australia

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Virat Kohli, Kuldeep Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah returned to the side for the first T20I against Australia in place of Manish Pandey, Washington Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal, who all played the last T20I against West Indies.

India TV Sports Desk India TV Sports Desk
New Delhi Updated on: November 20, 2018 15:59 IST
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This will be the first time Rishabh Pant will keep wickets for India in T20Is

Rishabh Pant was marked as the designated wicketkeeper as India announced their 12-man squad for the first T20I against Australia in Brisbane on Wednesday.

Pant, who didn't don the gloves in any of the three T20Is against West Indies, will get to keep in the shortest format of the game for the first time since making his T20I debut for India in February 2017 against England.

Karthik, who donned the gloves against the Windies, will now play as a middle-order batsman.

The selectors had omitted Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the two T20I series citing the need to test a second keeper ahead of the World Cup in 2019 as well as the T20 World Cup in 2020. With Virat Kohli backing Pant, it was expected that he will keep wickets in the home series ahead of Karthik but that was not the case and questions were raised. 

However, with Pant taking the gloves in Australia, it is evident that it was a case of rotation and both Karthik and Pant are being looked at to fill Dhoni's shoes.

Other than that, the changes from the last T20I that India played against West Indies is captain Kohli returning to lead the side in place of Manish Pandey and Jasprit Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav coming back into the side. Yuzvendra Chahal, who played the last T20I has been named 12th in the list.

Kuldeep, who was rested for the last T20I against West Indies came into the side in place of Washington Sundar while Bumrah, who was also rested for the last game, walked into the side straight away and most likely in place of Chahal.

Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Sundar and Umesh Yadav are the ones who missed out on a place in the final 12.

The first T20I of the three-match series will be played at the Gabba on Wednesday with India clearly going as the favourites into the match.

Australia have been in pretty bad form and lost the rain-curtailed one-off T20I against South Africa as well recently, thus, taking their streak to five losses in last six games and four in a row.

India on the other hand, have won 11 of their past 12 T20Is, including eight from nine away from home. 

India's 12-man squad for first T20I vs Australia: Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant (WK), Dinesh Karthik, Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed, Yuzvendra Chahal 

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