T20 World Cup – Indian Team Selection WC: 5 Big Questions before selectors: While Virat Kohli & Co are busy with the 4th Test against England, the Indian cricket team selectors have a big task at hand early next week. Task to select 15 players who will represent India at the T20 World Cup in UAE. According to the information available, right after the 4 test – Chetan Sharma led selection committee will meet and finalize the Indian squad for the World Cup.
Although the selection committee could have taken the time to select the squad as the deadline day to submit the squad to ICC is September 10. But the BCCI doesn’t want to keep the announcement pending considering the focus will shift to IPL 2021 immediately after the Test series.
T20 World Cup: Selection committee ready for their biggest challenge, 5 big questions in front of them before selecting Indian squad for World Cup
T20 World Cup – Indian Team Selection WC: The 15-member squad may be all set but there are still few areas the selectors will focus on. For example, Shikhar Dhawan’s place as a backup-opener and Washington Sundar’s availability pose the biggest challenge for the selection committee.
At InsideSport.co we take a look at the 5 big questions that the selection committee is facing before selecting the squad for T20 World Cup.
T20 World Cup – Indian Team Selection WC: Question 1 – Will Shikhar Dhawan be considered for selections? The veteran left-hander hasn’t been in India’s plans for opening the innings with Rohit Sharma with KL Rahul showing tremendous form. But Shikhar Dhawan has kept coming back with a lot of runs in the IPL. In fact, it was not Rohit Sharma, it was Shikhar Dhawan who was IPL 2020 and IPL 2021’s second top-scorer behind KL Rahul.
But skipper Virat Kohli differs in his approach. While Kohli believes the openers must give absolute blast of a start – Dhawan believes one opener must hold steady and stay longer to help set a big total.
The clash in ideology has meant KL Rahul-Rohit Sharma pair has been preferred for quite sometime now by the Indian team think-tank.
But in the UAE, Shikhar Dhawan’s experience could be invaluable especially if someone gets injured. However, selectors must choose between Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan as the backup opener. If Dhawan has got runs, Shaw has impressed with his explosive batting in Vijay Hazare Trophy, IPL 2021 and in the Sri Lanka series.
T20 World Cup: Is Hardik Pandya fit enough, what role will he play?
Indian Team Selection WC – Question 2 Hardik Pandya’s fitness? Another big question for the selectors is what role is Hardik Pandya going to play? The all-rounder is in poor form both with the bat and the ball. While he did bowl in India’s T20I series against England, he only bowled nine overs in three ODIs against Eoin Morgan’s side. Furthermore, he didn’t bowl in the IPL 2021 owing to back problem. In Sri Lanka, he returned to bowling but didn’t look fit enough.
With the bat, he has had a poor run of form in IPL and in Sri Lanka. In IPL 2021, he averaged an abysmal 8.66 while in Sri Lanka, in two ODIs, he averaged 9.50 in two innings. In the only T20I he played in Sri Lanka, he scored 10.
As Hardik Pandya was back in the NCA to get his back problems sorted immediately after the Sri Lanka tour, it remains to be seen whether selectors want him to continue as an all-rounder.
T20 World Cup: Will Varun Chakravarthy find & will Washington Sundar be fit for WC?
With Ravindra Jadeja back and Yuzvendra Chahal back in form, the question in front of selectors is whether to pick Varun Chakravarthy as the third spinner in the side. The mystery spinner, who plays for KKR, finally made his India debut in the Sri Lanka T20I series but was not really outstanding. While he did concede runs at an economy rate of just 5.30 on a pitch that assisted spinners, he bagged just two wickets in three matches.
Furthermore, he lacks the international experience and throwing him into the World Cup could be a big gamble for Virat Kohli. In addition, with both Ravindra Jadeja and Yuzvendra Chahal getting the nod in Playing XI, his inclusion could be difficult.
Washington Sundar’s fitness? Then there is a question on Washington Sundar’s fitness. The off-spinner all-rounder has been ruled out of the IPL 2021 with a finger injury that he suffered during India’s tour of England. Sundar provides India with the batting depth and is an established T20 bowler. However, his inclusion now depends on injury recovery and Varun Chakravarthy could only be fitted in if Sundar doesn’t recover in time.
Indian Team Selection WC – Question 4: Who will be India’s No 4? Shreyas Iyer or Suryakumar Yadav?
Before the India vs England limited-overs series in March, Shreyas Iyer would have been one of the first names in India’s Playing XI. But while he was out of IPL 2021 and Sri Lanka series with a shoulder injury, Suryakumar Yadav has capitalised on the opportunity and has cemented his place. His flexibility to bat at No 3, 4, 5 and 6 gives India the variation and it remains to be seen who selectors pick as India’s No 4.
Indian Team Selection WC – Question 5: Shardul Thakur or Deepak Chahar?
The other spot of contention is between Shardul Thakur and Deepak Chahar. Both have proven themselves with the bat and the ball. If Shardul Thakur slammed the fastest 50 in Test in England, Deepak Chahar played a match-winning knock against Sri Lanka. The two have also impressed with their bowling. With Hardik Pandya out of form, the inclusion of either of them could further bolster the team. But as it stands, there could be a place for only one in the 15-member squad.
Apart from these, the selectors also need to deliberate on the inclusion of Mohammed Siraj, T Natarajan and Navdeep Saini. With ICC allowing a bigger squad due to COVID-19 pandemic, the selectors could include Mohammed Siraj as an additional member of the squad or have him in place of Deepak Chahar. Virat Kohli’s preference could be given importance.
India’s Potential 15-member squad for T20 World Cup:
- KL Rahul
- Rohit Sharma (VC)
- Virat Kohli (capt)
- Suryakumar Yadav
- Rishabh Pant (WK)
- Ravindra Jadeja
- Shardul Thakur
- Mohammed Shami
- Jasprit Bumrah
- Mohammed Siraj
- Yuzvendra Chahal
- Shreyas Iyer
- Ishan Kishan (WK)
- Bhuvneshwar Kumar
- Shikhar Dhawan