Mar 12, India vs England, 1st T20I, Ahmedabad

Pro Tip: Rohit Sharma averages only 9 and strikes at 91.52 since 2019 in the inaugural game of a T20I series. It is a risky yet statistical decision to not give him importance for this game.
Our XI: Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Hardik Pandya, Sam Curran, Axar Patel, Deepak Chahar, Adil Rashid
Substitutes: Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Eoin Morgan, Chris Jordan
Player availability: Varun CV, Rahul Tewatia and T Natarajan's availability are in doubts for India. As far as England are concerned, Jofra Archer may not be available due to injury.
NOTE: We might not always be able to tip you off about late injury (or other relevant) updates, so please finalise your team after the toss.
Captain: KL Rahul
KL Rahul has been an unstoppable force in recent years in the T20 format, currently ranked third in the world. He was the highest scorer from India in the last two editions of the IPL with 593 and 670 runs. He was also the highest run-scorer in two of the last three T20I series - away to New Zealand (224 runs) and at home to Sri Lanka (99 runs).
Vice-captain: Jos Buttler
England's keeper-batsman has been in splendid form of late in T20I's averaging 68.5 and striking at 153.07 in the last six games. Ever since opening the batting for England, he has been spectacular, scoring 555 runs in 14 games at an average of 50.45 and a strike rate of 155.02. He will get you additional points with his keeping skills too.
Hot Picks
Virat Kohli: While Virat Kohli's search for a century continues, he has been a brilliant player in T20Is. Since 2019, among the top 10 teams, nobody has scored more runs than the India captain with 761 runs in 20 games at an average of 54.35 and a strike rate of 145.50. He was India's highest scorer in their last T20I series, against Australia, with 134 runs in three games.
Dawid Malan: The ICC's number one ranked batsman in this format is a must-have in your team. In 19 T20I games, he has scored 855 runs at an average of 53.43 and a strike rate of 149.47. However, it will be interesting to see how he tackles spin as he was not at his best against spinners in the recent BBL.
Hardik Pandya: Although his bowling is subject to fitness, his finishing prowess with the bat is unparalleled in the Indian squad. In the recent ODI series against Australia, Pandya was the leading scorer for India with 210 runs at a strike rate of 114.75. His ability to hit sixes at will makes him a certain starter in a fantasy team.
Differential Picks
Sam Curran: One of the best players for Chennai Super Kings in the recent IPL, Sam Curran was on song with both bat and ball. He was the leading wicket taker for CSK with 13 scalps at a strike rate of 19.38. While he is yet to prove his batting abilities in the limited-overs format, he is more than a handy option with the bat for England in this game.
Deepak Chahar: The 28-year-old bowler has been a revelation with the ball for India in T20Is. Ever since his debut for India in this format, he has been the highest wicket taker with 18 scalps from 13 games, leading the likes of Yuzvendra Chahal and Jasprit Bumrah, who all have played more games than him.
Alternate Scenarios
  • Rishabh Pant can replace Jonny Bairstow.
  • One of Deepak Chahar or Bhuvneshwar Kumar can be selected depending on the playing XI.
  • Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya are the alternate choices for captaincy.