India to play Zimbabwe in 1st T20I, India tour of Zimbabwe 2024


Shubman Gill-led India will take on Zimbabwe in a five-match T20I series beginning with the first game in Harare on Saturday, July 6. The match starts at 4:30 pm IST.

The Indian squad for the first two matches is slightly different from the last three. The BCCI has announced that Harshit Rana, Sai Sudharsan and Jitesh Sharma will replace Sanju Samson, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shiva Dube. The World Cup winner will first return to India with the team and then join the squad for the final three matches in Harare.

Unfortunately, SRH all-rounder Nitish Kumar Reddy was ruled out with an injury after being called up for the first time to India. Riyan Parag, Tushar Deshpande and Hardhit were also called up for the first time.

The last time India played a bilateral T20I series against Zimbabwe was in 2016. The two teams last played in the 2022 T20 World Cup and India comfortably beat the African nation by 71 runs.

While India’s batting looks solid, the bowling attack looks a bit inexperienced as the selected players have not played international cricket for a long time. That’s where the challenge lies for the bowlers against Zimbabwe.

Also Read: Hardik Pandya becomes world’s most all-rounder in ICC rankings after heroic performance in T20 World Cup

In this article, we pick India’s predicted starting XI for the first T20I. There are five T20Is and hence players are likely to be rotated. VVS Laxman will travel with the team to Zimbabwe as the head coach.

India to play Zimbabwe in 1st T20I, India tour of Zimbabwe 2024

Shubman Gill (center)

Shubman Gill will open the batting for India. He is one of the few Indian batsmen to have scored centuries in all three formats. The batsman led the Gujarat Titans in the IPL and this is his first taste of leadership for India.

Abhishek Sharma

The left-hander could be included in the XI to maintain the left-right combination. He scored 484 for SRH in IPL 2024 and redefined powerplay batting along with Travis Head. He should be selected in this XI for the first T20I.

Ruturaj Gaikwad

Gaikwad can play at the third position. He is an opener by nature but perfectly capable of batting at the third position. He scored 583 runs in the IPL 2024 and also achieved his first IPL record. For India, he has played 19 T20Is scoring 500 runs so far.

Riyan Parag

Parag could come in at the fourth spot. He scored 573 runs in the IPL 2024 batting at that figure for Rajasthan Royals and hence could be allotted that number to bat. He can also spin the ball with his arm. If he plays, it will be his T20I debut for India.

Rinku Singh

The left-hander could slot in at number five. He was part of the reserves in India’s T20 World Cup-winning squad. He has an average of 89 in just 15 T20s for India and a strike rate reaching 180 in just 11 innings. He has played three unbeaten matches this year in T20Is.

Dhruv Jurel / Jitesh Sharma (WK)

One of the players from Jurel or Jitsh could be selected as wicketkeeper-batsman. Jitesh had a forgettable season with the bat while Jurel played some impressive knocks.

Washington Sundar

Sundar could be slotted in at number seven. He has been part of many touring Indian squads in the past but has not gotten a chance to play. He has played 43 T20Is for India, making his debut in 2017. He last played all three T20Is against Afghanistan.

Ravi Bishnoi

Bishnoi will be the leg-spinner. His last appearance for India was in the series against Afghanistan. He is not included in India’s squad for the T20 World Cup.

Harshit Rana

Rana could be one of the pace players picked in the XI. He took 19 wickets and was instrumental in KKR’s success in IPL 2024. He also bats in the lower order for his American Delhi side.

Khaheel Ahmed

Khaleel could be one of the two fast-pacers selected for the first T20I. He took 17 wickets for Delhi Capitals and was impressive with the ball. He last played for India in 2019.

Mukesh Kumar

Mukesh completes India’s probable starting XI for the first T20I. His bowling skills will be crucial in the first game. He picked up 17 wickets for the Capitals in the IPL 2024. He last played for India in the T20I series against Afghanistan.

Also Read: Rohit Sharma showed how T20 World Cup is won: Suryakumar Yadav gives all credit to Indian captain for historic triumph