India’s squad for T20 World Cup 2021 announced by BCCI

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli (Image source: Twitter)
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli (Image source: Twitter)

BCCI announced the squad for the T20 World Cup 2021 which is taking place in Oman and UAE from 17th October, 2021 and Final to take place 14th November, 2021 in Dubai.

The squad has a lot of surprises, the first one being the inclusion of Ravichandran Ashwin who last played an international T20 vs West Indies in 2017. The other notable exclusions are Shikhar Dhawan and Yuzvendra Chahal. Shikhar, who led the Indian side versus Sri Lanka in July, has been excluded and the open slot goes in favour of KL Rahul. Chahal was blowing hot and cold for a very long time and India had to look for replacement and hence, the inclusion of Ashwin.

The other surprise includes Ishan Kishan in the main squad and Shreyas Iyer named in the touring reserves. Kishan debuted against England early this year and made a fine fifty. Shreyas injured his shoulder while fielding against England in Pune and has no game time to his name lately. He also missed the first half of the IPL due to his injury. Though it is a tough call on Iyer but he has his injury to blame for it.

Rahul Chahar, Varun Chakravarthy, Axar Patel, Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are the spinners. The inclusion is on the assumption that the pitches in UAE will turn and be on the slow side. Hardik Pandya is also expected to bowl after regaining full fitness.

The top order contains Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. While Virat Kohli will be an option as well, the chief selector Chetan Sharma also mentioned that Ishan Kishan can be the third opening option at the team’s disposal.

The Middle order comprises Virat Kohli, Surya Kumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja. Yadav, who is a proven player in the domestic circuit and IPL, is an exciting prospect for the team as he plays unorthodox shots upfront and does not shy away from giving contests to the bowlers. Rishabh Pant is expected to start in the playing XI and is the player to watch out for.

Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are the fast bowlers selected in the squad, while only two are expected to play in the playing XI. Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur have been named in the reserves.

The other big news is MS Dhoni’s return but this time not behind the stumps but as a mentor. The BCCI secretary Jay Shah said, “As far as MS is concerned, I spoke to him when I was in Dubai. He agreed to be a mentor for the 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.” So it would be interesting to see how MS Dhoni’s presence in the dressing room impacts the team.

So far the squad that has been announced is very balanced and has a lot of combinations of youth & experience. It has a lot of ‘Horses for Courses’ kind of players. India starts their WC campaign versus Pakistan on 24th October in Dubai.

Fixtures of India in WT20 2021

24th October 2021 – India vs Pakistan, Dubai

31st October 2021 – India vs New Zealand, Dubai

3rd November 2021 India vs Afghanistan, Abu Dhabi

5th November 2021 India vs B1, Dubai

8th November 2021 India vs A2, Dubai

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.

Reserves: Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur

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