Let's select India's T20 World Cup squad: Who gets picked and who misses out | Crickit
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Let's select India's T20 World Cup squad: Who gets picked and who misses out

Apr 18, 2024 12:34 PM IST

Presenting a rough outline of India's T20 World Cup squad.

While the rest of the country appears busy enjoying the big-shots-stuffed extravaganza that is the Indian Premier League, the same can’t be said about the Indian selectors. The 2024 World T20 will kick off within a week of the IPL final and they must be watching every game without fail to decide on the personnel for the high-profile tournament in the Caribbean and the United States in June.

Rohit Sharma is guaranteed, but who are the other 14 that will book the flight to the USA and West Indies? (BCCI)
Rohit Sharma is guaranteed, but who are the other 14 that will book the flight to the USA and West Indies? (BCCI)

What to expect from the Ajit Agarkar-led committee?

It's unlikely the former India allrounder and his comrades are going to spring any real surprises. They can’t be blamed. It can be a little tricky in India. Every big, settled player enjoys a big fanbase and selectors are forever aware of that fact. History shows the selectors are not willing to go against the wishes of the settled players’ fans, more often than not.

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The usual suspects

Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Suryakumar Yadav and Rinku Singh look a cinch. Rohit and Virat have been a bit under fire for their questionable strike rates but Rohit is going to captain the side and Virat has such a stature in Indian cricket that both are untouchable.

Bumrah, who recently took a five-for Mumbai Indians, is one of the finest bowlers in the world. Nothing more need be said. Suryakumar and Rinku have proved there are not many power-hitters of their quality and potency in the country. Fully fit, both are automatic choices.

The surprise packages

Rajasthan Royals' Riyan Parag is likely to be one of those. He looks very fit, boasts loads of muscles and so far in the IPL, he looks like a player from another planet. Against Delhi Capitals, he played a blinder of an innings under pressure to nullify the opposition's early advantage. In the big chase against Kolkata Knight Riders earlier this week, he played his part with an effective cameo of 34 off 14 balls. He has also shown, like against Mumbai Indians, that he can build the innings on tricky wickets and in stressful situations.

Delhi pacers Khaleel Ahmed & Mukesh Kumar and Punjab Kings’ Arshdeep Singh will be hopeful too. Injury-hit Mohammed Shami is more or less out of the World T20 and Mohammed Siraj has not looked very convincing in recent months. But Siraj's experience can save the day for him. Arshdeep and Khaleel appear to have the upper hand over Mukesh for they are left-arm pacers and provide variety.

Will Hardik Pandya be there?

Hardik Pandya is having a terrible time in the IPL on all counts. He doesn’t have fans’ support. His batting and bowling haven’t inspired much confidence either. One thing is sure, he is not going to make the 15-member squad only on the basis of his batting skills. He has to bowl at full tilt. A couple of good shows though will remove whatever little doubts there are against his name.

And what about Ravindra Jadeja and Shivam Dube?

Ravindra Jadeja should make the squad too. Massive experience and he brings a lot to the table, something the selectors can’t ignore, even though in the ongoing IPL he often appears to be struggling.

With Pandya struggling, Chennai Super Kings’ Shivam Dube has put up his hand. He is more of a batsman but reports suggest he is being seriously considered.

Rishabh Pant or KL Rahul or both?

There are high chances both the players will feature in the squad. Pant returned to competitive cricket after one and a half years owing to the car accident in 2022 and he has not taken much time to hit his stride. As of now, he looks good to go.

Rahul, on the other hand, has struggled for Lucknow Super Giants but he has a lot of experience under his belt and the selectors are unlikely to turn a blind eye to that. A few years ago, when India had played the West Indies in a three-match T20I series in the United States, fans will remember Rahul had got a century in one of the matches there. Little things, but they certainly influence the selectors in some way. Because Rahul can keep wicket, Shubman Gill and Yashasvi Jaiswal have a big question mark hanging over them. Dinesh Karthik shouldn’t be too optimistic too despite his exploits for Royal Challengers Bangalore this season. He has flattered to deceive too many times in a 20-year international career.

What about spinners?

Kuldeep Yadav, who has enjoyed a good last few months in India colours, is a favourite to make the squad. Axar Patel has struggled of late but he can be given another chance. Yuzvendra Chahal has looked good in the IPL but Axar, a reliable batter and a gun fielder, has more to offer.

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