India have handed debuts to Abhishek Sharma, Riyan Parag, and Dhruv Jurel in the first game of their T20I series against Zimbabwe in their first match since beating South Africa to win the T20 World Cup in Barbados last week. 

After winning the toss and electing to field in Harare in the first of their five-match T20 series against the Chevrons, captain Shubman Gill announced that the destructive opening batter Sharma, middle-order talent Riyan Parag, and keeper Dhruv Jurel would all take the field against the Sikandar Raza-led Zimbabwe side that failed to qualify for the T20 World Cup. India are seeking to provide opportunities to their next generation of cricketers as with Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Ravindra Jadeja all announced T20I retirements after the T20 World Cup final. 

Abhishek, who turned heads with his belligerent striking for Sunrisers Hyderabad at the IPL – he scored 484 runs at a strike rate of 204 – will open the innings alongside captain Gill, whereas Riyan, the IPL’s third-highest run-getter, and Jurel, are expected to slot into the middle order. All three are likely to have some role to play, as India will look to chase whatever target Zimbabwe sets to win their 13th successive completed T20I. 

India's playing XI also sees the IPL's second-highest scorer, Ruturaj Gaikwad, slotted in at three, and aggressive middle-order batter Rinku Singh, who averages a staggering 89 in T20Is, return to the side. Left-arm Delhi Capitals pacer Khaleel Ahmed is also playing his first game for India in more than four years, taking the new ball for his team. 

Fans in India can watch the series on the Sony Sports Network. Live streaming will be available on the Sony LIV app and website.

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