The All-India Senior Selection Committee met on Monday to pick India’s squads for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia and for the T20I series against Australia and South Africa at home. Pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel have made their return to the squad for the World Cup and for Australia and South Africa series. Pacers Mohammed Shami and Deepak Chahar have been included in the squad for T20 World Cup as standby players and also feature in squads for the two home series. ICC T20 World Cup will take place this year from October 16 to November 13.
India have a stable opening option in KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma. Rohit has shown a glimpse of form in the Asia Cup 2022 while there is still a question mark on Rahul’s strike rate. India can tinker with the opening combination with Virat Kohli at the top as well. He has the best average when he is batting at the top and the century against Afghanistan makes his case even stronger. Suryakumar Yadav and Rishabh Pant can also open the batting but it is very unlikely that they will.
Virat will hold the fort at number three followed by Suryakumar Yadav and Rishabh Pant at four and five. India can swap Rishabh with Dinesh Karthik if the option team has an off-spinner in the bowling attack. Deepak Hooda will find it very difficult to get a game given that he has not bowled enough in the Asia Cup and could hardly be used as a part-time bowler.
Hardik Pandya and Axar Patel will hold the key in the lower middle order. India can not afford to lose any of these two all-rounders due to injury. Hardik especially because of his big-hitting skills. Axar will have to fill in the big shoes of Ravindra Jadeja.
Yuzvendra Chahal will be the first choice spinner for Rohit Sharma while R Ashwin will be his backup. Team India might want to play Ashwin ahead of Chahal if the opposition team have a lot of left-handers. The Word Cup is in Australia and thus it will be very unlikely that Rahul Dravid will field two spinners and Axar Patel alongside.
India are going with four pacers in their bowling attack with Hardik Pandya being the fourth one. Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel and Arshdeep Singh form a solid pace attack with experience and quality in it. Arshdeep and Harshal will battle for the place of the third speedster. Bumrah and Harshal can bowl in the death while Kumar will be in action in the powerplay.
Ideal Playing XI
Openers: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul
Middle Order: Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant
All-rounders: Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel
Spinner: Yuzvendra Chahal
Pacers: Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel
Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper),
Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Arshdeep Singh.
Hardik Pandya, R. Ashwin, Axar Patel
Mohd. Shami, Shreyas Iyer, Ravi Bishnoi, Deepak Chahar.