Shubman Gill overtakes Babar Azam and demotes Abhishek Sharma despite scoring a century by getting a new opening partner

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Abhishek Sharma, Shubman Gill


Shubman Gill-led Team India will have a new opening combination for the third T20I against Zimbabwe on Wednesday (July 10).

Though the Indian team had registered a convincing win in the second game, the playing line-up was expected to see some changes due to the arrival of World Cup winners Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson and Shivam Dube.

As expected, all three players have been named in the starting XI for the crucial third match. Khaleel Ahmed has also been included in the squad. Riyan Parag, Dhruv Jurel, Sai Sudharsan and Mukesh Kumar have made way for the four new players in the starting XI.

New opening combination for Team India:

As far as the opening combination is concerned, Yashasvi Jaiswal replaced Abhishek Sharma as one of the openers. Even though Sharma had scored an impressive century in the second T20I, the team management decided to demote him to number three to make way for Jaiswal.

Captain Shubman Gill will open the innings with Jaiswal in the third game. Jaiswal did not play a single match in the T20 World Cup and will be looking to start on a flying note. Meanwhile, India won the toss and opted to bat first.

“We will bat first. Hopefully the humidity will help us. We have the World Cup winners back in the squad. Sanju, Jaiswal and Shivam are in. Khaleel and Mukesh are also rested for this match. We think we have a balanced team,” Shubman Gill said after winning the toss.

On the other hand, Zimbabwe captain Sikandar Raza said: “We were going to bowl first anyway. The surface is not as wet as the first over, it is not very flat. We will see the seam bowlers come into the contest and we expect a slow turn.

“We hope the boys have learned some lessons from the second game. We need to back our bowlers and keep them to the lowest total possible. Two changes for us. Innocent Kaia has a minor injury, Marumani is in and Ngarava comes in for Luke Jongwe,” he added.

The five-match series is tied at 1-1. Zimbabwe had stunned India by 13 runs in the first game before the visitors bounced back with a 100-run win in the second game.

Playing XI:

India: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Abhishek Sharma, Shubman Gill(c), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sanju Samson(w), Shivam Dube, Rinku Singh, Washington Sundar, Ravi Bishnoi, Avesh Khan, Khaleel Ahmed

Zimbabwe: Tadiwanashe Marumani, Wessly Madhevere, Brian Bennett, Dion Myers, Sikandar Raza(c), Johnathan Campbell, Clive Madande(w), Wellington Masakadza, Richard Ngarava, Blessing Muzarabani, Tendai Chatara