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Kohli OUT, Jaiswal to open; India's probable playing XI for 1st T20I against Afghanistan

Ahead of the first T20I against Afghanistan in Mohali, India's head coach Rahul Dravid confirmed that the star cricketer Virat Kohli will miss out on the opener due to personal reasons and also revealed Rohit Sharma's opening partner.

Written By: Sumeet Kavthale @sumeetkavthale New Delhi Updated on: January 10, 2024 20:41 IST
Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid
Image Source : GETTY Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid at Asia Cup 2023

India are all set to host Afghanistan in the first T20I game at Mohali's PCA IS Bindra Stadium on Thursday but will be without their star batter Virat Kohli. India head coach Rahul Dravid confirmed that Virat Kohli is not available for the first match due to personal reasons and revealed captain Rohit Sharma's opening partner in the first match. 

Speaking in the pre-match press conference, Dravid broke the news of Kohli's absence but confirmed that the star batter is available for the remaining two games in the series. Kohli's absence will open a spot in the no.3 position but the management is well reinforced with quality options. 

Dravid also confirmed that Yashasvi Jaiswal will open with captain Rohit ahead of Shubman Gill. With Ruturaj Gaikwad missing the series due to injury and Rohit returning after 14 months, the management will face a dilemma while selecting openers for the first game. 

In T20Is, Gill has struggled to show a similar consistency he has displayed in 50-over cricket but is a strong contender to start in the no.3 role in Virat's absence. However, the management is likely to prefer youngster Tilak Varma who has played seven times in the no.3 position since his debut in August 2023. 

The returning Sanju Samson might get a nod ahead of Jitesh Sharma to play in the no.4 role and don the wicketkeeping gloves. Shivam Dune and Rinku Singh are likely to maintain the finishing roles with the former offering an all-round option as well.

In bowling, Washington Sundar might get a chance ahead of Axar Patel due to a due factor in Mohali while in-form Ravi Bishnoi might start ahead of Kuldeep Yadav. Notably, India have picked only three pacers for the home series and all will start tomorrow.

India's possible playing XI: Rohit Sharma (c), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Sanju Samson (wk), Shivam Dube, Rinku Singh, Washington Sundar, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan, Mukesh Kumar

India squad for Afghanistan series: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan, Mukesh Kumar

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