Ruturaj Gaikwad to bat at No. 3, India captain Shubman Gill confirms new opening pair for Zimbabwe series

India hasn't announced their playing XI, but captain Shubman Gill has given an idea of ​​what their top order will look like in the series opener.

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Jerin K Tomy
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Ruturaj Gaikwad and Shubman Gill (Source: X)

Ruturaj Gaikwad and Shubman Gill (Source: X)

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India's tour of Zimbabwe, 2024 is set to commence on Saturday (July 6) which is the Men in Blue’s first assignment since winning the T20 World Cup. The series will mark a fresh start for India in the shorter format as the Shubman Gill-led side features a young side that will shoulder the responsibility going forward. 

For the likes of Abhishek Sharma, Riyan Parag, Tushar Deshpande, Sai Sudharsan and Harshit Rana, this will be a great opportunity to make their maiden international appearance. India hasn't announced their playing XI, but captain Gill has given an idea of ​​what their top order will look like in the series opener.

Speaking to the media on the eve of the five-match T20I series, Gill confirmed that he and Abhishek will open the batting. In the absence of Yashasvi Jaiswal, who is currently with the World Cup-winning team in India, Abhishek is likely to open in the first two matches.

The left-handed batter had a sensational outing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024, scoring 484 runs in 16 matches at an astonishing strike rate of 204.21. He broke several batting records along with Travis Head and was the driving force behind Sunrisers Hyderabad's (SRH) remarkable run, where they finished as runners-up.

Also Read: ZIM vs IND Dream11 Prediction, Fantasy Cricket Tips, Playing XI, & Updates For Today's Match

Abhishek Sharma as opener - Sign of India aiming for IPL 2024 template in T20Is?

Meanwhile, Gill said that Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper Gaikwad will bat at No. 3. The Maharashtra cricketer had an impressive campaign in the IPL 2024, where he finished as the second-highest run-scorer with nearly 600 runs.

Though he is behind Abhishek in terms of strike rate (141.16), the right-hander has shown better consistency as he averaged over 50.00. However, it is noteworthy that Gaikwad has batted at number three and opened for CSK in the latest edition.

"Abhishek Sharma will open with me and Ruturaj Gaikwad will bat at No.3," Gill, who is set to lead the national team for the first time, told reporters.

Along with Jaiswal, keeper-batter Sanju Samson and Shivam Dube will also join the team from the third T20 onwards. Harare Sports Club in Harare will host all matches in the upcoming series.

Also Read: Zimbabwe Series: Was choosing Shubman Gill as captain the right call?

India Zimbabwe vs India Zimbabwe Abhishek Sharma Ruturaj Gaikwad Shubman Gill