The BCCI on Friday announced Team India’s squad for the upcoming Asia Cup and ICC World T20.
Besides the surprise inclusion of uncapped Delhi all-rounder Pawan Negi and, to an extent, that of injury-sidelined pacer Mohammed Shami, the squad announcement was along expected lines. The team will be led by limited-overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni in both tournaments.
Here are five takeaways from the announcement:
The squad has the stamp of skipper MS Dhoni, who could well be leading in his last major competitions. The inclusion of Negi, who will make his international debut for India in the upcoming series against Sri Lanka, is indicative of the faith Dhoni has in the youngster’s skills. So is the return of Mohammed Shami after breaking down in Australia during the World Cup last year.
Shami’s inclusion also shows, not just the team management’s willingness to wait for his return to full fitness, but also a lack of confidence in seamers like Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav.
The inclusion of an ageing Yuvraj Singh and Ashish Nehra, as well as newcomers Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah, is indicative of the selectors’ decision to opt for a mix of experience and youth. The good showing by all of these players in the recent 3-0 T20 series win over Australia will, no doubt, have contributed to their decision.
Strong domestic performances have been given a lot of weightage, as seen in the choice of Nehra and Negi. It was Nehra’s recent domestic record that led to him being picked in the T20 squad for the tour of Australia, as well.
An additional role that Negi, as well as Harbhajan Singh, plays is to ensure replacements are ready in case of any setbacks to Yuvraj or Ashwin.