The T20 World Cup 2021 tournament proper will begin on Saturday with two heavyweight clashes between Australia, South Africa and England, West Indies. However, the big-ticket encounter happens the day after when India take on arch-rivals Pakistan in their respective tournament openers. This will be the first time the two teams will lock horns in over two years. The last time these two teams met was in the 2019 World Cup in England with India romping home with an 89-run win (DLS Method). In T20 World Cups India has had the upper hand over Pakistan, but such is the nature of the T20 format that any team can trump the other on any given day irrespective of history. Babar Azam and Co. have been a mercurial side as has been the case with past Pakistani teams and that makes them a dangerous proposition, even though India start as favourites.
There has been a lot of talks about India’s ideal XI for the tournament, and not just the opener. While Virat Kohli had made it clear that he will bat at No.3, allowing Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul to open, there are still a few bit of uncertainties in the middle-order, and even in the bowling department. Hardik Pandya’s non-availability as a bowler is a major worry for team India and even though there will only be a slight chance of him missing out, the question would remain, who will be the ideal finisher to replace the big-hitting Pandya, if the need arises. While Ravindra Jadeja looks locked in to be India’s spin-bowling allrounder, there will be a fair share of debate and discussion on who should be the lead spinner in the XI – an out of form Rahul Chahar or a returning R Ashwin or will it be the injury prone Varun Chakravarthy? And which two among three make it to the XI, or will it just be one?
The pace bowling department looks more or less settled with Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar set to play given there are no surprises in store with regards to niggles and injuries. But, there is every chance of some last-minute changes given India will be looking for balance in their team and do not be surprised if you see a Shardul Thakur finding a place in the XI. There are a lot of permutations and combinations for the team management to fret over, and for the fans as well. So, here’s your chance to pick your best India XI against Pakistan. Have a crack.
T20 World Cup 2021: Pick Your Best Indian XI for India vs Pakistan Mega Clash