Rinku Singh, Sanju Samson, Shubman Gill find no place in India's T20 World Cup squad picked by Mohammad Kaif | Crickit
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Rinku Singh, Sanju Samson, Shubman Gill find no place in India's T20 World Cup squad picked by Mohammad Kaif

Apr 13, 2024 09:03 PM IST

Former India cricketer Mohammad Kaif has India's squad for the T20 World Cup finalised in his mind. And there are a few surprises.

With India's squad for the T20 World Cup likely to be announced in a couple of weeks, it is a given that the Ajit Agarkar-led selection committee is keeping a close eye on the proceedings of IPL 2024. Most of India's squad members pick themselves but there are a few spots still up for grabs. There are many takers for the keeper-batter's position, the fight for the second spinner is also interesting, and the third seamer's spot can also be debated. And then there are questions about the combination. Will take an extra spin-bowling all-rounder or a back-up for Hardik Pandya? Do they need a fourth seamer? What about more power hitters in the middle order?

File photo of Rinku Singh(AFP)
File photo of Rinku Singh(AFP)

Former India cricketer Mohammad Kaif has India's squad finalised in his mind. And there are a few surprises. Despite Yashasvi Jaiswal going through a lean patch in IPL, Kaif picked the left-hander as captain Rohit Sharma's opening partner. There was no place for Gujarat Titans skipper Shubman Gill.

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The No.3 and No.4 spots went to Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav without any debate. At No.5, Kaif picked Mumbai Indians captain Hardik Pandya.

Now for the interesting part. Kaif decided to go ahead with Delhi Capitals captain Rishabh Pant as the keeper-batter ahead of Sanju Samson, KL Rahul, and Jitesh Sharma. Pant, who has made a comeback to the cricket field after a long gap due to multiple injuries suffered in a car crash in December 2022, has been in top form for DC so far. The attacking left-hander has already smashed two half-centuries and is sixth in the list of Orange Cap holders with 194 runs at a strike rate of 157.

Samson, on the other hand, has smashed 246 runs at the same strike rate by playing a match less than Pant. But Samson bats at No.3 for RR. In the Indian side, the keeper will mostly be slotted in at No.5 or 6. This might go against the Kerala man.

"Yashasvi Jaiswal will open alongside Rohit Sharma. Then Virat Kohli at No. 3, Suryakumar Yadav at No. 4, Hardik Pandya at No. 5, and Rishabh Pant at No. 6," Kaif said on Star Sports.

To give more depth to India's batting, Kaif picked both Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja not only in the squad but also in the XI. Kuldeep Yadav was his lead spinner while Jasprit Bumrah and Arshdeep Singh were the new ball bowlers.

"I will keep a lot of all-rounders because you need batting depth. So I will say Axar Patel at No. 7 and Ravindra Jadeja at No. 8. After that, Kuldeep Yadav, who is a skilful bowler, at No. 9. Then two fast bowlers - Jasprit Bumrah and Arshdeep Singh. That makes it your XI," Kaif explained.

No Rinku Singh; Chahal ahead of Ashwin

Kaif went with Yuzvendra Chahal, who has picked up 10 wickets for RR this year at a very good economy rate of 7.4, ahead of Ravichandran Ashwin as the backup spinner.

"If I talk about the squad, you will take one more spinner. I feel you will have to keep Chahal. He brings the option of a leg-spinner. Ashwin went last time. He is not taking that many wickets this time (in the IPL). I believe Chahal is a very good bowler in those conditions where the ball will turn," he reasoned.

The big surprise in Kaif's team, however, was the commission of Rinku Singh. The left-hander has been India's best finisher in T20Is in the last year but Kaif thinks Shivam Dube and Riyan Parag have the edge over him.

"Then I will go with Shivam Dube. He is in great form and plays spin splendidly. He drives the game very well after six overs. I will take Riyan Parag's name. He is playing exceptionally well and deserves to be in the squad. That makes it 14, plus I will take Mohammed Siraj's name. Although he is not in form, he is an experienced bowler and has a fantastic overall record," Kaif elaborated.

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