T20 World Cup- India squad: 5 big surprises: The Indian national selectors on Wednesday picked the squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup to be hosted in UAE and Oman. A 15-member team has been announced while 3 players have been chosen as standby. In a surprise move, Yuzvendra Chahal misses out as R Ashwin makes his comeback after 4 years. Shikhar Dhawan has also failed to make the cut. India chose to rely on spinners more than the pacers. The selectors have trusted on Shreyas Iyer despite injury while Hardik Pandya has been given another go to prove his worth as India aims to clinch the second T20 World Cup title after 14 years. What comes as a big positive, MS Dhoni will be the mentor of the team India.
TEAM – Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma (vc), 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, Mohd Shami.
Standby players – Shreyas Iyer, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar.
T20 World Cup- India squad: 5 big surprises:- check out
R Ashwin’s inclusion
In a surprise move, R Ashwin has been included in the team which will begin its campaign in the showpiece event against arch-rivals Pakistan. He had last played a T20I against West Indies in July 2017. He has played 46 T20Is and taken 52 wickets.
Chief selector Chetan Sharma said that good performances in IPL led to Ashwin’s selection in T20 WC squad.
“Ravichandran Ashwin has been playing in the IPL regularly. He has performed well there. When you go into the World Cup, you need an off-spinner, everyone has an idea that the wickets in the UAE will get slower as IPL will also be played there. Spinners will get assistance so having an off-spinner holds the key,” Sharma said.
“Washington Sundar is injured and Ashwin is an asset for the team. He has performed well in the IPL so that is why he has found a place for himself in the squad,” he added.
Yuzvendra Chahal’s exclusion
Yuzvendra Chahal, who is one of India’s highest wicket-taker in the shortest format, failed to make the cut after a lean patch in the last few matches. The leg-spinner had taken 6 wickets in the last 3 matches (2 ODIs and 1 T20Is) for India during the recently concluded India tour of Sri Lanka. He has taken 63 wickets in 49 matches. However, he had made to scalp just 4 wickets in the last 5 appearances.
With KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma showcasing an already set chemistry as the opening pair across formats, the place for Shikhar Dhawan has slightly gone in shaky boots. Shikhar Dhawan, who was named captain of the recently-concluded India our of Sri Lanka, has been left out of the India squad. Dhawan had made 46, 40 and 0 during the T20I series against Lanka and his strike rate was under the scanner. Now, it is believed that Virat Kohli might take up the role of opener if KL Rahul plays in the middle-order.
T20 World Cup- India squad: 5 big surprises:
4 spinners & 3 seamers
The selectors have chosen as many as four spinners in the form of R Ashwin, Rahul Chahar. Axar Patel and Varun Chakravarthy. They have sent out a message that India relies on spin more than pacers. The list rises to 5 with the availability of R Jadeja. Meanwhile, three pacers in the lineup are Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohd Shami. It will be interesting to see if Hardik Pandya assists the seamers in the bowling department.
Shreyas Iyer, Hardik Pandya
Despite missing the first edition of IPL 2021, the selectors have kept their faith on Shreyas Iyer to name in the standby squad. He missed the last 5 months of cricket due to injury despite being excellent at No.4 due to an injury. He had fractured his finger during the England tour of India earlier this year. Meanwhile, Hardik Pandya is in a lean patch of late. He had taken just 3 wickets and scored 29 runs during the last 4 matches in Sri Lanka. The allrounder had managed just 52 runs in the first 7 matches for Mumbai Indians in the last phase of IPL 2021. Both Shreyas Iyer and Hardik Pandya need to deliver in IPL ahead of the biggest stage.
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