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Ahead of selection day, looking at India's likely squad for the T20 World Cup

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Ahead of selection day, looking at India's likely squad for the T20 World Cup

New Delhi, April 26 (Ajit Weekly News) Ahead of the May 1 deadline for teams to submit their Men’s T20 World Cup squads, the discussion around who makes it to India’s squad for the mega event happening in the West Indies and USA from June 1 is at an all-time high.

With every match in IPL 2024, the list of contenders for the Men’s T20 World Cup selection gets a new addition. On the other hand, some surge ahead to be the front-runners through their scintillating performances.

All of this makes it a problem of plenty for the Ajit Agarkar-led selection committee to finalise the 15-member India squad, in terms of picking players on past performances or go by current form in IPL 2024. Ajit Weekly News looks at the likely 15-member India squad for the T20 World Cup:

Rohit Sharma (captain)

BCCI Secretary Jay Shah had announced in February this year that Rohit would captain Indian team in the mega event, just a month after he made his return to the format internationally through the Afghanistan series. In eight matches of IPL 2024, Rohit has amassed 303 runs with a strike rate of 162.9, including an unbeaten 105 against Chennai Super Kings.

Virat Kohli

Though Rohit opened with Jaiswal and Gill in the Afghanistan series, with Kohli batting at number three slot in two matches, this could change for the World Cup. Kohli, the leading run-getter in IPL 2024, could get promoted to open the batting alongside Rohit so that he can give a turbo-start in the powerplay, considering his tendency to slow down in middle overs, which was seen during his fifty against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday.

Suryakumar Yadav

The top-ranked men’s T20I batter has been in scintillating touch in the last few years with his unorthodox strokeplay and consistently getting runs from it. After returning from an ankle injury and sports hernia surgery, Suryakumar has still been at his rollicking best despite two ducks, amassing 140 runs in five innings. In six T20Is in West Indies, his strike-rate is also at a high 161.19.

Rishabh Pant

The left-handed wicketkeeper-batter has been getting back to his best self since returning to competitive cricket after recovering from various injuries suffered in a life-threatening car accident in December 2022.

In nine matches of IPL 2024, Pant has scored 342 runs in nine innings, averaging 48.86 at a strike-rate of 161.32. With the gloves, Pant has been massively impactful, taking 10 catches and effecting three stumpings.

In the start, many were anxious about how Pant would fare after a long layoff. But as of now, he’s shown that he takes up keeping loads very well, apart from finishing games with the bat. The only point of concern is his T20I record, where he averages 22.43 and has a strike rate of 126.37 in 66 games.

Sanju Samson

The choice for the second keeper will come to a toss-up between Samson and KL Rahul, with Dinesh Karthik also having an outside chance. But in current form, Samson has shown the consistency and ability to make big scores, as seen from his 314 runs coming at an average of over 50 and a strike rate above 150. Though he didn’t make most of the few chances he got in the T20I set-up, Samson has shown that he can be a reliable option if given an opportunity.

Shivam Dube

Since the time Chennai Super Kings roped him ahead of IPL 2022, Dube has literally turned a corner in terms of batting in T20s. Dube was given the role of being the spin-hitter in middle-overs, which he has excelled in, thanks to his long reach and powerful shots. Based on his stellar IPL 2023, he made his return to the India T20I team and even bagged Player of the Series award in the Afghanistan series.

IPL 2024 has also seen Dube garner runs against fast bowlers, especially against short balls, which has been his nemesis for a long time. With conditions in the West Indies expected to aid spinners more, Dube’s presence will be all-important for India and utilise his spin-hitting prowess.

Hardik Pandya

The fast-bowling all-rounder hasn’t been at his best with both bat and ball, as well as a leader of Mumbai Indians in IPL 2024. But with his closest competitor Dube not getting to bowl in IPL 2024 due to impact player rule, it means that Hardik will get into the 15-member squad due to the skillsets he possesses.

In IPL 2024, Hardik hasn’t been the prolific hitter he’s known to be, making only 151 runs in eight innings and hitting just seven sixes. With the ball, he’s bowled only 17 overs and picked just four wickets, at an economy rate of 10.94.

Rinku Singh

The left-handed batter shot to limelight with five sixes on last five balls of the innings against Gujarat Titans in IPL 2023, a season where he continuously showed his finishing skills. He would make his India T20I debut later in the year and amass 356 runs in 15 games, staying not out in seven of them at a high strike rate of 176.23. Though he hasn’t got many chances to be the finisher for KKR in IPL 2024, as their top order has done bulk of scoring so far, Rinku can be trusted to excel as a finisher in the World Cup.

Ravindra Jadeja

Though Jadeja has taken four wickets in IPL 2024 for the Chennai Super Kings and made 157 runs with the bat, including struggling to break free while batting at times, his experience of playing previously in the West Indies and being a clutch player in the format, especially with conditions aiding his bowling, makes him a worthy addition for the World Cup.

Kuldeep Yadav

The left-arm wrist-spinner has had a stellar time in the format since being picked by Delhi Capitals ahead of IPL 2022. Strong performances in IPL since then (including 12 wickets in six matches), along with an international return and taking a five-wicket haul against South Africa last year on his birthday, Kuldeep is sure to be the lead spinner for India in the World Cup at West Indies.

Jasprit Bumrah

India had badly missed Bumrah’s X-factor when he missed the 2022 T20 World Cup due to a back injury which needed surgery. But since then, Bumrah excelled on return to international cricket and is now all set to lead the charge for India in the 2024 T20 World Cup. In IPL 2024, Bumrah is the leading wicket-taker with 13 wickets in eight matches – firing his yorkers and other deliveries with panache and precision.

Arshdeep Singh

With Mohammed Shami recovering from Achilles surgery and Mohammed Siraj not being in the best of form in IPL 2024, it means that Arshdeep’s role will be much more important in a format which paved his entry into the Indian team and took 10 scalps in 2022 T20 World Cup.

Though his form has been up and down in the international games as well as in IPL 2024, Arshdeep’s skillsets of bowling in power-play and death overs can be handy for India in the World Cup.

Avesh Khan

Avesh has shown a lot of improvement in his death overs bowling in IPL 2024 and has eight wickets from as many matches with an economy rate of 9.41, with his wide yorkers and slower balls being his go-to deliveries. Apart from bowling well in death overs, Avesh can be the enforcer in middle overs if needed, in case the Indian team doesn’t select Siraj.

Yashasvi Jaiswal

The left-handed opener had a string of low scores in IPL 2024, but roared back into form with a 59-ball century against Mumbai Indians. With Shubman Gill also in the mix, Jaiswal could be given the nod by selectors mainly due to the variety and aggression he brings at the top, though clamours have been largely towards a Kohli-Rohit opening combination.

Axar Patel

Though there are specialist leg-spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravi Bishnoi in contention for the World Cup squad, Axar stands out mainly due to his all-round skillsets. Though he hasn’t taken many wickets with the ball, Axar has been able to do the holding job while operating in tandem with Kuldeep.

With the bat, his promotion to three proved to be master stroke as he made an IPL best score of 66, and took boundaries aplenty against spinners. Moreover, he’s also a very handy fielder, which makes his case of getting to the World Cup stronger as compared to Chahal and Bishnoi.

–Ajit Weekly News

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News Credits – I A N S

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