Finally, the wait of thousands of Indian fans is over as the BCCI has announced a 15 member Indian squad for the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 to be held in the UAE. The Selection Committee Chairman Chetan Sharma and BCCI secretary Jay Shah announced the squad at 9 pm on Wednesday.
What comes as a major surprise for the fans after the announcement of India’s T20 World Cup Squad is the inclusion of Ravindrachan Ashwin The ace spinner had last played in 2017 against West Indies at Sabina Park in T20Is. He has played 46 T20Is and taken 52 wickets. Meanwhile, the wrist duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav has been left out from the Indian squad. Chahal who is India’s highest wicket-taker has failed to make it to the 15 member squad after a lean patch in the last few matches.
Spinner Varun Chakravarthy has made it to the 15 member squad with Ravindra Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, and Axar Patel making up India’s spin department. Notably, Shikhar Dhawan who captained India’s limited-overs team in Sri Lanka hasn’t been selected in the 15 member squad. Rohit Sharma & KL Rahul will be the main openers while captain Virat Kohli could also make it to the top order. However, Chief Selector Chetan Sharma stressed that Ishan Kishan would be considered as a third opening option if required.
Prithvi Shaw who has garnered success in white-ball cricket has been left out from India’s squad for the mega-event. Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, and Shardul Thakur will be the reserves for the Indian team. The selectors have also included Varun Chakravarthy & in-form leg spinner Rahul Chahar in the squad.
Varun Chakravarthy has scalped 24 wickets in the IPL 2020 & 2021 season. He made his international debut against Sri Lanka in July, picking up two wickets in the three T20Is, with an economy of 5.30. On the other hand, Rahul Chahar is among the top five wicket-takers in the IPL 2021. Apart from the 11 wickets in the seven matches played by Mumbai Indians so far, Chahar also bagged four wickets in the two T20Is he played against Sri Lanka, at an average of 10.40 and an economy of 5.25.
To strengthen India’s middle order, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, and Rishabh Pant has been included in the squad while Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, and Axar Patel are the all-rounders named in the squad. Ishan Kishan scored 516 runs in IPL 2021 at an average of 57.33 while he also registered a half-century on his debut against England earlier this year. On the other hand, Suraykumar Yadav has proved his worth in both the domestic as well as international circuit. He made his international debut during the home T20I series against England & scored two half-centuries & a 32 in the three innings that he batted.
As far as pacers are concerned the selectors have included three pacers in India’s T20 World Cup squad. Japsirt Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Mohammed Shami are the pacers who have made it to the 15 members T20 World Cup squad. Hardik Pandya who has resumed bowling since the Sri Lanka series has been included in the squad as a seam-bowling option.
Former Captain MS Dhoni to Mentor team India:
MS Dhoni will accompany team India as a mentor for the T20 World Cup 2021. The BCCI Secretary Jay Shah has announced the development while naming India’s T20 World Cup squad. “As far as MS is concerned, I spoke to him when I was in Dubai. He agreed to be a mentor for T20 World Cup only. I also discussed the issue with my colleagues and they are all on the same page. I spoke to captain and vice-captain and as well as Ravi Shastri and they are all on the same page,” Shah said.
India will commence their T20 World Cup campaign against Pakistan on October 24 in Dubai. India will face New Zealand at the same venue on October 31 while they will take on Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi on November 3. India will play a total of five matches in the group stage, with their remaining games on November 5 and November 8 against two of the four teams that emerge victorious from the qualifiers. The marquee event will begin on October 17, with the final to be played in Dubai on November 14.
India’s T20 World Cup Squad:
Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami.