Hardik Pandya 'automatic selection' but Rinku Singh's T20 World Cup spot shockingly in danger: Report | Crickit
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Hardik Pandya 'automatic selection' but Rinku Singh's T20 World Cup spot shockingly in danger: Report

Apr 18, 2024 12:55 PM IST

There is a possibility that Rinku Singh may miss out on a spot in India's final 15 for the T20 World Cup while Hardik Pandya's spot is not under threat.

As the deadline for the T20 World Cup's squad announcement nears, speculations are rife over India's potential 15-member contingent for the marquee tournament. The ongoing Indian Premier League season remains key to India's squad selection, and the BCCI faces a problem of plenty in almost all positions; perhaps the biggest of all is in the lower-middle order.

Bengaluru: Kolkata Knight Riders player Rinku Singh during a practice session in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024(PTI)
Bengaluru: Kolkata Knight Riders player Rinku Singh during a practice session in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024(PTI)

IPL 2024 saw the return of Hardik Pandya to competitive cricket action for the first time since the ODI World Cup last year; but even as the first six matches haven't really been impressive for the all-rounder, a report from the PTI suggests that his place is certainly not in the danger for the T20 World Cup. Instead, there could be a competition between two in-form batters for a spot in the 15-member squad: Shivam Dube and Rinku Singh.

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With many players competing for single spots, the selectors are likely to name back-ups in the 15-member squad, which, in turn, would reduce the slots for the finisher's role. The report suggests that strong competition for top-order could hurt Dube and Rinku, and the selectors might be left in a position where they would have to choose only one of the two.

The report states that either Shubman Gill or Yashasvi Jaiswal may be omitted from the final 15, but if both players are included, then only one of the two finishers – Kolkata Knight Riders' Rinku or Chennai Super Kings' Dube - will likely be selected.

Also Read | ‘Shivam Dube could make India's T20 World Cup squad. Only problem…’: De Villiers

If true, it throws the ‘Hardik vs Dube’ equation out of the window. The report from PTI has named 10 players who are “automatic selections,” and Hardik is one of them. The list also includes Virat Kohli and wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant, who made a comeback to competitive cricket after over 14 months in the IPL this year.

Dube vs Rinku – Too harsh on both?

Both Shivam Dube and Rinku Singh have been in excellent touch with the bat throughout the past few months. Rinku, in particular, has been in splendid form since the previous IPL season. After earning a maiden call-up to Team India following his 474 runs in 14 matches for the KKR, Rinku transitioned seamlessly into national colours, boasting a terrific strike rate of 176.23 in 15 T20Is, with 356 runs to his name. Moreover, he remained unbeaten in seven of his 11 innings in the shortest format, taking his average to an incredible 89.

Dube, meanwhile, seems to have been put in a spot of bother by his own franchise, CSK. The 30-year-old hasn't had a chance to bowl in this IPL when a major requirement for Team India at the T20 World Cup is an all-rounder since Hardik Pandya is enduring a difficult run with Mumbai Indians.

“Think about it, if there was no Impact Player rule, could MS Dhoni (not Ruturaj Gaikwad) as CSK 'skipper' afford to not bowl Dube? Selectors don't know about Dube's bowling form,” a former international player-turned-broadcaster told PTI.

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