The Indian cricket team recently announced a 19-man squad for the upcoming 5-match T20I series against England.
Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav and Rahul Tewatia got maiden call-ups to the side after their brilliant performances in last year's Indian Premier League. Varun Chakravarthy, who made the T20I squad for the Australia tour but was ruled out due to injury, has been given another opportunity.
Rishabh Pant makes a comeback to the Indian T20I team after stellar performances in the Test format, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar also finds his way back after recovering from an injury. Senior pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami aren't part of the squad, and Ravindra Jadeja is yet to recover from the finger injury he sustained Down Under.
India's squad and strongest XI for the England T20Is
India's squad for the T20I series against England: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Yuzvendra Chahal, Varun Chakravarthy, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Rahul Tewatia, T Natarajan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur
We take a look at what India's strongest playing XI could look like for the series against England, which will take place in Ahmedabad from March 12.
Openers: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul
Vice-captain Rohit Sharma has long been partnered by Shikhar Dhawan when the southpaw is fit, but it might be time for a change at the top of the order. Dhawan has scored only 2 fifties in his last 19 T20Is, and his replacement - KL Rahul - is clearly one of the best T20I batsmen in the world right now.
Rahul has been used at Nos. 4 and 5 in the recent past, but there's no arguing the fact that his best position is as an opener. The Punjab Kings skipper was the Orange Cap winner in the IPL, and might be the right man to partner Rohit in the upcoming T20 World Cup.
It remains to be seen what the team management's thinking is in this regard. If they opt to continue to back Dhawan and preserve the right-left opening combination, Rahul might have to drop down to No. 4.