India T20 World Cup squad: Jasprit Bumrah, Harshal Patel return; no Sanju Samson, Mohammed Shami in stand-by

Published on Sep 12, 2022 05:17 PM IST

T20 World Cup India Squad Announced: Fast bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel have recovered from the respective injuries and been included in India's star-studded WC squad, which was announced by the BCCI on Monday.

Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel are back to bolster India's pace attack(Getty Images)
Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel are back to bolster India's pace attack(Getty Images)
By, New Delhi

Fast bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel have recovered from the respective injuries and been included in India's star-studded T20 World Cup squad, which has been announced by the BCCI on Monday. Initially expected be declared towards the end of this week, the selectors met in the afternoon of September 12 and finalised the squad of 15 that will represent the Rohit Sharma-led Indian team in the ICC mega event starting October 16 in Australia. Mohammed Shami, Ravi Bishnoi, Shreyas Iyer and Deepak Chahar have been named the four stand-by players.

Bumrah and Harshal, both of whom had missed the Asia Cup due to a back injury and a side strain respectively, are back to bolster the under-fire pace attack. The two had been undergoing rehab at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, and the selectors, after a thorough evaluation decided that both pacers are fit enough to feature for India in their bid to lift the T20 World Cup for a second time. Bumrah and Harshal will also feature in India's six T20I series against Australia and South Africa at home starting September 20 – a pre-curser for the team to get its combinations right – to gain some much-needed match practice before taking the flight to Australia.

Also Read: Mohammed Shami back for Australia, South Africa T20Is; Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar not included for SA T20Is

Bumrah and Harshal coming back into the fray means that Avesh Khan, who caught a sickness during the Asia Cup, is not in the reckoning. Partnering the two quicks in the pace department will be Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Arshdeep Singh, both of whom were in the thick of things for India at the Asia Cup. Also returning to the fold is Shami, a surprise call-up given he has not played a T20 for India since last year's World Cup. Shami's exclusion from India's Asia Cup squad was widely criticised by commentators and experts alike, but it seems that the selectors haven't quite given up on him yet.

The room for experimentation ends here with India revealing a bumper squad. The top order picks for itself with captain Rohit to open with KL Rahul, followed by Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya in the middle-order candidates. Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik are the two wicketkeepers selected which means the axe falls on Sanju Samson. In between, reports had emerged that Samson might get picked over Pant, but that was always going to be a huge prediction to make. That Pant is a left-hander and the prospect of him batting on the bouncy pitches of Australia made the decision easier, and even though his T20I record hasn't been the greatest of late, letting to a talent like Pant just wasn't a risk the selectors, captain Rohit or coach Rahul Dravid were willing to take.

All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who recently underwent knee injury, as expected, has missed the cut, but the team would be hoping for Axar Patel to fill that void. Continuing with all-rounders, the team management has persisted with Deepak Hooda despite his recent string failures. After missing last year's T20 World Cup, Yuzvendra Chahal will be leading India's spin attack along with the veteran R Ashwin. Chahal has a fine record in Australia, and given the kind of form he has been since his return to the limited-overs squad grabbing 19 wickets from 16 matches, the leg-spinner's inclusion was a no-brainer.

Ashwin, meanwhile, may have featured in just 10 T20Is for India since the beginning of 2021, it is believed that the management trusts him enough with his experience. Having said that, just who between Ashwin and Axar partners Chahal will make for an interesting toss-up, provided there is the need for a second spinner that is. Clearly, the think tank feels having three spinners in the squad is the way to go, and Ashwin's batting could have played a significant role in the same.

Ideally, the BCCI named up to three players as reserves but just as caution has gone ahead with four stand-by players. Deepak Chahar, who recently returned to top-flight cricket from his injury in the Zimbabwe ODIs, performed reasonably well picking up for three matches. Coming in as replacement for the unwell Avesh, Chahar bowled four overs against Afghanistan but remained wicketless.

Bishnoi's inclusion in the squad was expected, simply because the world hasn't seen much of him and how he foxed Pakistan captain Babar Azam in the recent India vs Pakistan Asia Cup match, but doubts over his effectiveness in Australia probably tilted the scales in Ashwin's favour. The only designated batter in the list, Iyer, lost his mojo since the hat-trick of fifties against Sri Lanka in February but the fact that he hasn't been discarded entirely means that he still remains in India's scheme of things. India's IPL sensation and young speedster Umran Malik too failed to secure a berth in the squad.

India's squad for T20 World Cup: Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (Wicketkeeper), Dinesh Karthik (Wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Arshdeep Singh

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