BCCI source reveals 10 players certain to be picked in India's T20 World Cup squad. Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya... | Crickit

BCCI source reveals 10 players certain to be picked in India's T20 World Cup squad. Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya...

Apr 18, 2024 05:22 PM IST

10 names will be a part of India's squad for the T20 World Cup in the USA and West Indies irrespective of their IPL form.

India's squad for the T20 World Cup is far from being finalised. There will be a strong debate on the opener's slot, the two wicketkeepers, the back-up spinner and of course, the power hitter in the middle order. Apart from IPL and recent international performances, the team management's requirements for conditions in the West Indies and USA may become a deciding factor in finalising the 15. But there are 10 names who will be a part of the squad irrespective. They are certain to board the USA-bound flight in June this year.

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli(PTI)
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli(PTI)

A BCCI source in the knowhow has given a fair bit of idea to news agency PTI about the names which are certain for the T20 World Cup.

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Captain Rohit Sharma, head coach Rahul Dravid, and chief selector Ajit Agarkar reportedly want Hardik Pandya to bowl more frequently but the PTI report added that there is no immediate doubt on his selection. The team management will keep a close eye on his bowling in IPL 2024 but he is still the premier fast-bowling all-rounder of the country by some distance.

Much like Hardik, Virat Kohli's inclusion is also a formality. On Wednesday, a report in Dainik Jagran claimed that Kohli may be asked to open with Rohit in T20 World Cup which will give India the chance to play a power hitter in the middle overs. Kohli is the reigning orange cap holder of IPL 2024 and has been opening for the Royal Challengers Bengaluru for the last few seasons.

He is no stranger to opening in T20Is. He has a pretty good record as an opener in T20Is. In 9 innings that he has opened in T20Is, Kohli has scored 400 runs at an average of 57, which is higher than his career T20I average of 51. Moreover, Kohli's strike rate jumps from 138 to 161 when he opens the batting in this format. His only T20I century, which is also the highest individual score by an Indian in the shortest format, came while opening the batting against Afghanistan in Asia Cup 2022.

The other automatic selections are skipper Rohit Sharma, No.1 T20 batter Suryakumar Yadav, pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, pacers Arshdeep Singh, Mohammed Siraj and spinner Kuldeep Yadav. These 10 names, if fit, will definitely be on the flight across the Atlantic. About nine of them are confirmed starters in the XI. Either Arshdeep or Siraj may sit out to allow the team to play an extra spinner based on the conditions on offer in USA and the Caribbean.

It is understood that Siraj is being rested by RCB as he has been playing constantly and needed workload management.

Gill vs Jaiswal; Rinku or Dube?

Now coming to the remaining spots where there are multiple contenders... It is safe to state that Pant, with his impactful performances both as batter and keeper for the Delhi Capitals, has sealed the gloveman's spot but because it is a World Cup away from home, the team management will definitely keep another keeper as backup.

For that, the contenders are Ishan Kishan, KL Rahul, Sanju Samson and Jitesh Sharma. Among them, Kishan and Rahul have never batted in the middle order in T20s. Jitesh is the ideal fit for the role but his form in IPL 2024 hasn't been up to the mark. Samson, although bats at No.3 for RR, has the experience of batting in the middle-order. His superb form this year makes him the frontrunner to grab the second keeper's slot.

Only three among Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rinku Singh and Shivam Dube will be picked in the squad. If Kohli opens then both Rinku and Dube are likely to get the nod.

For the backup spinner's spot, there is a three-way battle among Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, and Ravi Bishnoi. Axar's batting prowess gives him the edge.

The probable 20 (15 + 5 stand by) in contention:

Specialist Batters (6): Rohit Sharma, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rinku Singh

All-Rounders (4): Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shivam Dube, Axar Patel.

Specialist Spinners (3): Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravi Bishnoi.

Wicketkeeper-batter (3): Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul and Sanju Samson.

Pacers(4): Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Arshdeep Singh and Avesh Khan.

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