And it’s over! The Indian Premier League, the most-watched cricketing event, is finally over and it’s time for national duty for the men in blue! The first challenge Team India faces will be against South Africa. The Proteas will tour India from 9th June to 19th June, playing 5 T20s against the hosts. It is a bit of a dress rehearsal for Team India, as the T20 World Cup looms overhead. Here is a list of the players most likely to be selected for the Playing XI for the first T20, set to take place in New Delhi on 9th June :
1) KL Rahul (c) –
KL Rahul will be leading the Indian contingent, as both Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have been rested. This also makes him the backbone of the Indian batting lineup. A lot would depend on how he bats, especially with the T20 World Cup ahead.
2) Ruturaj Gaikwad
The newbie has been given a chance in the national squad this time. He was a sensation in the 2021 edition of the IPL while playing for CSK, he would hope to do the same for Team India.
3) Ishan Kishan
The biggest buy-in IPL 2022 is also included in the squad. While his team MI didn’t have a great season, Kishan will hope to bounce back for Team India.
4) Shreyas Iyer
Shreyas Iyer was chosen as the captain for KKR this season. The dynamic youngster has a reputation to save, given that his recent scores haven’t really been encouraging.
5) Rishabh Pant (wk)
Rishabh Pant was considered to be the big replacement of the legendary MS Dhoni, and while his performance with the bat has indeed been phenomenal, he is yet to show the intent of the old lion behind the wickets. The youngster has a long career ahead of him though, and he will surely look to turn things around for Team India in this series.
6) Hardik Pandya
One of the major talks of the town was Hardik Pandya’s return in the blue jersey. The dynamic all-rounder won his first IPL trophy as captain for the debutant Gujarat Titans while showing a captain’s inning display with the ball and the bat throughout the series. Team India holds the highest expectations from him.
7) Yuzvendra Chahal
Playing for Rajasthan Royals, Chahal was able to snatch the Purple Cap this IPL, paving way for his return to the Indian side. He’s maintaining his current form is extremely essential for Team India.
8) Kuldeep Yadav
Chahal’s spin partner has also been chosen for the Indian squad. He too had an impressive season and will look to continue the same way donning the blue jersey.
9) Bhuvaneshwar Kumar
Bhuvaneshwar Kumar will have to be the face of the Indian bowling attack, as his two partners Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami have been rested. He’ll have to work with the newbies here, it remains to be seen if he is able to guide them in the right direction and set forth a new generation of pacers.
10) Harshal Patel
After another good season with RCB, Harshal Patel has been brought into the squad. This is a great chance for the young talent to cement his position on Team India. He would surely be training really well for it.
11) Umran Malik
The final player on the list is Umran Malik, the new sensation found by IPL. Throwing balls consistently at a remarkable pace of 157, the young talent has shown unforeseen grit on the ground while playing for SRH. He has been the star of IPL 2022, and would hope to do so wearing Team India colors now!