As the T20 World Cup approaches, India’s squad selection remains a topic of discussion, with key positions like the opener’s slot, wicketkeepers, back-up spinner, and power hitter in the middle order up for debate. The team management will take into account performances in the IPL and recent international matches, as well as the specific conditions in the West Indies and USA, where the tournament will be held. Despite the uncertainties, there are 10 players who are certain to be part of the squad and will board the flight bound for the USA in June. These players likely represent a core group of talent that the team management relies on for their consistency and skill in T20 cricket.

A BCCI source has revealed to news agency PTI that certain players are almost guaranteed selections for the T20 World Cup. Captain Rohit Sharma, head coach Rahul Dravid, and chief selector Ajit Agarkar reportedly want Hardik Pandya to bowl more frequently, but there is no immediate doubt on his selection. Virat Kohli’s inclusion is also a formality, with reports suggesting he may be asked to open with Rohit Sharma in the tournament to provide stability and firepower at the top of the order. Kohli’s impressive record as an opener in T20Is further strengthens his case for this role.

The other automatic selections in the squad are skipper Rohit Sharma, No.1 T20 batter Suryakumar Yadav, pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, pacers Arshdeep Singh, Mohammed Siraj, and spinner Kuldeep Yadav. These 10 players, if fit, will definitely be on the flight across the Atlantic. About nine of them are confirmed starters in the XI, with either Arshdeep or Siraj likely to sit out to allow the team to play an extra spinner based on the conditions on offer in USA and the Caribbean.

It is understood that Siraj is being rested by his IPL team, Royal Challengers Bangalore, as he has been playing constantly and needs workload management. This highlights the importance of managing player fitness and workload leading up to a major tournament like the T20 World Cup.

Gill vs Jaiswal; Rinku or Dube?

In the debate between Gill and Jaiswal, as well as Rinku versus Dube, the final selection will likely depend on various factors, including team strategy, recent performances, and the specific role each player can fulfill in the squad.

Regarding the wicketkeeper’s backup spot, Rishabh Pant has secured his position with impactful performances for Delhi Capitals. However, given the importance of having a backup keeper in a World Cup away from home, contenders like Ishan Kishan, KL Rahul, Sanju Samson, and Jitesh Sharma are being considered. While Kishan and Rahul haven’t batted in the middle order in T20s, Samson’s experience and current form make him a strong contender for the backup keeper role.

In the battle between Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rinku Singh, and Shivam Dube, only three of them will make it to the squad. If Virat Kohli opens, both Rinku and Dube are likely to be selected, considering their ability to contribute as middle-order batsmen.

Lastly, for the backup spinner’s spot, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, and Ravi Bishnoi are in contention. Axar’s batting prowess could give him the edge in this battle, as it adds value to the team’s overall balance.

Ultimately, the final selection will depend on a combination of factors, including current form, versatility, and the specific requirements of the team for the T20 World Cup.

The probable 20 (15 + 5 stand by) in contention:

The probable 20 players in contention for India’s T20 World Cup squad, including 15 main players and 5 standby options, are as follows:

Specialist Batters: Rohit Sharma, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rinku Singh

All-Rounders: Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shivam Dube, Axar Patel

Specialist Spinners: Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravi Bishnoi

Wicketkeeper-batters: Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul, Sanju Samson

Pacers: Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan

These players represent a blend of experience, skill, and versatility across all departments of the game, providing the team management with multiple options to form a well-balanced squad for the T20 World Cup.


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