The long-lamented grouse about T20Is is that it is without context – compared to some of the glamorous franchise leagues. But, even the most ardent of critics will agree that in a ‘World Cup year’ the T20Is spring to life with some context – that of selecting the World Cup team!
India are no different and the challenge is to balance the expectations of a home global tournament with the needs of a diverse tournament. Desibets.comtakes a look at possible selections.
Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav
There are probably no questions around Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and to a large extent KL Rahul. These three are probably ‘near certainties’ in T20Is.
Shreyas Iyer is another one close to that bracket, because of his consistency from IPL. Three successive IPL seasons of more than 400 runs at averages more than 30, Iyerhas the pedigree to be a pillar in this middle-order.
Shikhar Dhawan divides opinion, but on his day remains a matchwinner. He can be a good backup, just in case India would like to tinker.
Eyebrows will be raised over Surya Kumar’s selection, but he has been knocking the selection doors for quite some time. The upcoming T20Is against England could be a litmus test, but we are already sticking our necks out for Surya.
Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Ravindra Jadeja
Again, a couple of selections are straightforward, as Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja walk into the squad. India will be well-served if Pandya can start bowling again, but that’s a discussion for another day.
Washington and Axar have shown enough glimpses to stake their claims as ‘control bowlers’. Any captain would love to have one of those, who guarantees four overs without much fuss.
This has to be the first surprise of our selection. Most people would have gone for Rishabh Pant, but our choice is his Indian U19 teammate Ishan Kishan. With aggressive (yet calculated) performances for Mumbai Indians, Kishan has done enough to warrant a look. For all the Test heroics that he’s consistently delivering, Pant is yet to hold on to his white-ball spot. Same goes for Sanju Samson, which opens the door for Kishan. In any case, we expect Rahul to be the primary ‘keeper of this side.
Another no-nonsense selection, Chahal gets the nod in our side purely for his consistent guile in this format. He can bowl at either end of the innings without diluting his thirst for wickets. And, cricket tipsters are expecting the all-rounders of this side to be the secondary spinners which means no place for someone like Kuldeep Yadav.
JaspritBumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T Natarajan, Deepak Chahar
It would be blasphemous to even discuss Bumrah’s place, so we will leave it at that. A fit-again Bhuvneshwar will be a gift for Kohli, considering his experience at both ends of an innings. Natarajan’s stocks have soared high over the last year and looks set to be a valued addition. The only question mark is over Chahar, who probably mirrors Bhuvneshwar’s skillsets. That’s why he remains our 16th player and if the team feels the need for extra pace, someone like Mohammed Shami or a dark horse pick like Prasidh Krishna can storm in!
What do you think about our selections?