In a busy day, head coach Chetan Sharma and his colleagues, along with captain Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid, met virtually to also choose India’s 16-member squads for the upcoming T20I series. at home against Australia (three matches starting with the first on September 20 in Mohali) and South Africa (three matches starting with the first on September 28 in Thiruvananthapuram).
The 2022 T20 World Cup will take place from October 16 to November 13 Down Under. India kick off their campaign against Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on October 23, before facing South Africa in Perth on October 30, Bangladesh on November 2, and a qualifier on November 6 in Melbourne.
The team will be managed by Rohit with his co-opener KL Rahul as his assistant as India have retained almost all of the top order who played the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, where the team crashed before the semi-finals.
With the T20 World Cup so close, India’s top cricket decision makers didn’t want to press the panic button. Skipper Rohit had recently said that “95%” of the squad had been identified and, as estimated, there were no big surprises in India’s T20 World Cup squad.
“The team’s average age is over 27. Clearly the idea is to gain experience and play safely in a tournament like the World Cup,” a source said.
Bumrah (back injury) and Patel (side strain) had missed the Asian Cup recently held in the United Arab Emirates but made a comeback after recovering from their injuries at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore . With 19 wickets, Harshal was India’s second wicket taker in the T20I this year, with only Bhuvneshwar Kumar (31) ahead of him. Obviously, their return will bolster the attack under India’s fire.
After India’s pace attack struggled to contain runs in defeats to Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the Asian Cup, there was speculation that experienced pacemaker Mohammed Shami would be chosen for the T20I World Cup. While Shami could only find one place among the four reserve players who will travel with the team to Australia – the others being Shreyas Iyer, Ravi Bishnoi and Deepak Chahar – he was chosen for the T20I home series against Australia and South Africa. Obviously, he will be the first-choice fast bowler if one of the point guards suffers a breakdown in Australia.
As expected, young pacer Avesh Khan, who took 13 wickets in 15 T20I at a high save rate of 9.10, was dropped, with selectors favoring 23-year-old left-arm tailor Arshdeep Singh for the Cup. T20 world. Arshdeep was rested from the T20I series against Australia, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hardik Pandya enjoyed a T20I break against South Africa. “Hardik Pandya, Arshdeep Singh and Bhuvneshwar Kumar will report to the NCA for conditioning-related work during the home series against Australia and South Africa,” the BCCI said.
Ravindra Jadeja, the left-arm ace, was unable to make the squad after suffering a serious ‘training-related’ injury at the recent Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates, and was replaced by a player with skills similar to Axar Patel. Deepak Hooda was also cast. The T20 WC selection completes a fabulous final few months for Hooda, who enjoyed a breakout season with Lucknow Super Giants in IPL2022, scoring 451 points in 15 games at 32.21 at a 136.66 strike rate.
For India, Hooda scored 293 runs in 12 games at 41.85 and a 155.85 strike rate, including a century against Ireland. Veteran wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik, who team management say plays a crucial role in 16-20 overs, retained his place in the squad with Rishabh Pants. This meant that Sanju Samson had missed the shot.
It seems that the coaches played down Team India’s lackluster performance in the Asian Cup. With the exception of those who missed the tournament due to injury (Bumrah and Harshal) or those who entered due to injury sustained during the tournament (Axar for Jadeja), the same team was kept. One can only hope that this policy of no change will cost India nothing.
Leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar are the three spinners for India’s T20 World Cup squad.
The decision to prefer Ashwin over the impressive young leggie Bishnoi can be called questionable, but India avoided any risk in terms of selection for this big event.
India finished third in the Asian Cup Super Four leg and failed to qualify for the final. They lost to Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the Super 4, before beating Afghanistan in their last match.
Dhawan expected to lead India in ODIs vs SA
The ODI series squad against South Africa, which kicks off on October 6 in Lucknow, was not chosen on Monday, but it is understood that with the T20 squad absent in Australia, that squad will be led by fly-half Shikhar Dhawan, who is now essentially seen by selectors as a “purely ODI batsman”.
INDIA SQUAD FOR AUSTRALIA T20IS: Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (Vice-Captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (Wicket Keeper), Dinesh Karthik (Wicket Keeper), Hardik Pandya, R. Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohd. Shami, Harshal Patel, Deepak Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah
INDIA SQUAD FOR SOUTH AFRICA T20IS: Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (Vice-Captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (Wicket Keeper), Dinesh Karthik (Wicket Keeper), R. Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Arshdeep Singh, Mohd. Shami, Harshal Patel, Deepak Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah