India name playing XI for 1st T20I vs Australia, Rishabh Pant to keep wickets


Rishabh Pant will be India’s wicketkeeper for the first T20 International against Australia at the Gabba in Brisbane on Wednesday. Dinesh Karthik, who kept wickets in the T20I series against the West Indies at home earlier this month, will bat in the middle order.

Virat Kohli, who was rested for the T20I series against the Windies, replaced Manish Pandey. Other than that, there were no other changes to the team which beat West Indies 3-0.

Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan will open the innings while Kohli will most likely bat at his usual No.3 position. KL Rahul, who had a sensational IPL season with Kings XI Punjab and scored a T20I hundred in England, will bat at No.4 followed by Pant at No.5 and Dinesh Karthik at No. 6.

All-rounder Krunal Pandya retained his spot at No. 7 after an impressive debut against West Indies. Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Khaleel Ahmed make up a formidable bowling line-up.

Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal was named 12th man.

India have dominated Australia in T20 Internationals since the two countries started playing each other in the format back. Over the last 10 years, India have won 15 while Australia have won 5.

One match was abandoned in Hyderabad last year.

In 2016, India blanked Australia 3-0 thanks to Kohli, who smashed three half-centuries in the series.

Meanwhile, the Australian team was dealt a blow when it was announced that the bans handed out to Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft would stand. That meant Smith and Warner would play no role in the T20Is, Tests and ODIs against India from November 21 to January 18.


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