India’s tour of Australia in 2020 will start the countdown for the T20 World Cup to be held in India in 2021. The Indian players will also have another IPL season to prove their worth to the selection committee and secure a berth in the squad for the multi-nation tournament.
The only time India won the T20 World Cup was way back in the year 2007, under the leadership of the legendary Mahendra Singh Dhoni. With the World Cup scheduled to take place at home, this would be a very good chance for the ‘Men in Blue’ to win the coveted title in front of their home crowd. Also, the last time India played the T20 World Cup at home, they were eliminated in the semi-final stage by a spirited Caribbean side.
With the T20 World Cup less than a year away, let us have a look at the probable 15-man Indian squad for the tournament.
1. Rohit Sharma
He is the man who has scored the most hundreds in T20Is. He stands second in the list of batsmen with the most runs in T20Is. When Rohit Sharma is at his menacing best, no bowling attack appears intimidating, and no opposition captain can be at peace.
Rohit has scored 2773 runs at an average of 32.62 and has scored them at a strike rate of close to 140 in T20Is. The ‘Hitman’ has also scored 21 fifties in the shortest format of the game. The Mumbai Indians skipper is also a gladiator in IPL cricket. Rohit has scored 5230 runs in the IPL and stands fourth in the list of batsmen with the most runs in the cash-rich league. He has also scored 39 fifties in IPL cricket.
With an imposing record in the shortest format of the game, and with an ability to tear apart any bowling attack, Rohit would walk into the Indian side as the opener.
2. Shikhar Dhawan
In the 13th edition of the IPL, Shikhar Dhawan set the stage alight with some captivating performances. The classy left-hander was the second-highest run-scorer in the league, amassing 618 runs at an average of 44.14, and played a pivotal role in his side finishing as the runners up.
Dhawan also scripted history by becoming the first batsman to score consecutive hundreds in IPL cricket. The Delhi opener also stands second in the list of batsmen with the most fifties in the IPL, having plundered 41 half-centuries. Dhawan has scored 1588 runs for India in T20Is and averages close to 30 in the international arena.
Having set the IPL ablaze, Dhawan would look to carry on that form into the Australian series and the 14th edition of the IPL and seal his place at the top of the order for the T20 World Cup 2021.
3. KL Rahul
On current form, KL Rahul is probably the best Indian batsman right now. Rahul won the Orange Cap in the 13th edition of the IPL and scored a gargantuan 670 runs in the tournament. Even in the international arena, Rahul’s willow has done the talking. The right-hander averages 53.83 in T20Is played in 2020 (till now), has scored 3 fifties in the 7 innings that he has played in 2020 for India and played a pivotal role in India whitewashing New Zealand in the T20 series in the land of the kiwis.
Even in the year 2019, Rahul scored 356 runs at an average of 44.50. The dashing batsman scored 4 fifties at a strike rate of over 140 last year. He has also scored 2 hundreds for the ‘Men in Blue’ in T20I cricket. Rahul can also keep wickets and can do decent work with the gloves as well.
He has now also been elevated to the role of Vice-Captain for the limited-overs series against Australia. The right-hander would be looking to score more runs and prove to the selectors that he is a man in whom they can invest on.
4. Virat Kohli (Captain)
He is a man whose name will be the first on the team sheet. Hailed as the greatest batsman in the post-Sachin Tendulkar era, Kohli is the modern-day batting maestro in limited-overs cricket. The right-hander is the highest run-scorer in T20 cricket, and also holds the record for scoring the most fifties in the shortest format of the game.
Kohli is also the highest run-scorer in IPL cricket, having scored 5878 runs along with 5 centuries. In the recently concluded IPL season, Kohli scored 466 runs and was the second-highest run-scorer for his franchise after Devdutt Padikkal.
India’s fortunes in the World Cup 2021 will depend upon how Kohli fares with the willow. The skipper will be looking to lead India to their second World T20 triumph in 2021.
5. Shreyas Iyer
Another man who would play a vital role in the middle order for the Indian side is Shreyas Iyer. The 25-year old’s leadership skills came to the fore in the 13th edition of the IPL as he led the Delhi Capitals franchise to their maiden final appearance in the competition.
Iyer was also in scintillating form with the willow for the Delhi side in IPL 2020. He amassed 519 runs in the tournament and was the 4th highest run-scorer in the competition. Even in the series against New Zealand earlier this year, Iyer made use of every opportunity that came his way.
The right-hander averaged 51.00 in the NZ series and also scored a blistering 29 ball 58* in the first T20I as well. Iyer would be a handy pick for the World Cup squad as he can switch between caution and aggression with ease.
6. Sanju Samson (WK)
When Sanju Samson is in full flight, he is a feast to the eye. The Kerala-born batsman has been bestowed with the gift of timing, and when he gets going, he is unstoppable. Against the Chennai Super Kings, Samson’s ability came to the fore as he bludgeoned a 32-ball 74, and decimated the three-time IPL champions.
Samson also scored 85 off just 42 balls in the game against Kings XI Punjab this season. The right-hander scored 375 runs in the 13th edition of the IPL. But more importantly, he scored them at a whopping strike rate of 158.90.
Samson has also been selected in the squad for the T20I series against Australia. And, if he can impress his captain and the selectors in the tour, Samson can surely throw his hat in the ring for a place in the national side for the T20 World Cup.
7. Rishabh Pant (WK)
When he gets going, no boundary seems big enough. Rishabh Pant is one of the cleanest strikers of the cricket ball and can clear the fence at will. In the recently concluded IPL, Pant scored 343 runs at an average of 31.18, and was in decent form with the willow.
Pant has scored more than 2000 runs in IPL cricket and is a talent worth watching. Even though he was not picked in the limited-overs squad to tour Australia, a good outing in next year’s IPL season and an improved fitness regimen will allow Pant to seal his place as a wicketkeeper-batsman in the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup in 2021.
Rishabh Pant has scored 410 runs thus far in T20I cricket at an average of 20.5. These numbers might confuse the readers but if he gets going, there’s no bowler in the world who can stop him. He’s a game-changer and can be a proper finisher in times to come for Team India.
8. Hardik Pandya
He averaged 35.13 in the 13th edition of the IPL. But more importantly, he scored his runs at a colossal strike rate of 178.98, and played a crucial role in the Mumbai Indians lifting the IPL title for a record fifth time. Hardik Pandya is a potent weapon in the arsenal of the Indian side and is a man who can change the course of a match in a matter of minutes.
He can strike lusty blows at the end of the innings and provide the flourish that the side needs in the death overs. The all-rounder is a superb athlete as well, and a livewire on the field. Even though a back problem prevented him from rolling his arm over in the IPL, Hardik is a handy bowler and has taken 42 wickets for the Mumbai Indians in IPL cricket.
Hardik was also named in both the ODI and T20I squads for the challenging tour Down Under and is pivotal for India’s fortunes in the T20 World Cup that’s going to happen in India in 2021.
9. Ravindra Jadeja
He can hit massive sixes. He can bowl in the middle overs and keep a check on the flow of runs., And, he is probably the best fielder in the Indian side at the moment. Even though the fortunes of the Chennai Super Kings plummeted this season, Ravindra Jadeja shone as a player.
He averaged 46.40 with the bat, and scored his runs at a strike rate of 171.85. He had 4 scores in excess of 30 in this edition of the IPL, and provided the firepower that his side needed at the fag end of the innings.
Jadeja can play the role of spinning all-rounder in the side. The left-arm spinner is a part of both the ODI and T20 squads that will take on Australia later this month. His finishing ability with the willow is also one of the aspects to watch out for.
10. Yuzvendra Chahal
He is versatile. He is not afraid to toss the ball up. Yuzvendra Chahal can beat the batsman in the air and also with the turn that he extracts off the surface. And, the leg spinner played a crucial role in the Bangalore side reaching the playoffs in IPL 2020.
Chahal was the highest wicket-taker for the Bangalore side this season and scalped 21 wickets at an average of 19.28. Also, he gave away just 7.08 runs per over in this edition, proving that his guile and dexterity with the ball makes him the first choice spinner for the Indian side.
With the T20 World Cup to be played in India in 2021, Chahal will be a vital part of the Indian bowling attack. The wrist-spinner will be leading the whole Indian spin attack in the multi-nation tournament.
11. Mohammed Shami
Mohammed Shami’s pace unsettles batsmen. The bounce that he generates hurries them up. Mohammed Shami’s accuracy coupled with the searing speed that he generates makes him an awkward bowler to face, especially with the new ball.
The right-arm pacer was the highest wicket-taker for the Punjab franchise in this edition of the IPL and picked up 20 wickets this season. Shami can also bowl toe crushing yorkers in the death overs as well.
He has found a place in both the ODI as well as the T20I squad for the tour to Australia. And, if he can continue in the same vein, Shami is a certainty for the T20 World Cup in 2021.
12. Jasprit Bumrah
Needless to say, Jasprit Bumrah is the best Indian pacer as far as limited-overs cricket is concerned. The Mumbai speedster was the second-highest wicket-taker in the 2020 edition of the IPL and was an important factor behind Mumbai’s fifth IPL triumph.
Bumrah picked up 27 wickets and averaged a miserly 14.96 this year in the IPL. His economy rate was just 6.73 this season as well. Bumrah will spearhead the Indian pace bowling attack in Australia and will be an automatic choice for the T20 World Cup to be held in India.
Bumrah’s special ability to seize the opposition run-flow in death overs will be crucial in the multi-nation tournament. It would be exciting to watch the pacer run through the opposition with his fiery form.
13. Washington Sundar
Tamil Nadu-born Washington Sunday is tall and lanky. He bowls stump to stump and is accurate. In the 15 matches that he played in the 13th edition of IPL, Washington Sundar gave away just 5.96 runs per over.
The lanky spinner also bowled in the powerplay and reposed the faith that skipper Virat Kohli showed in him by choking the opposition batsmen with his accuracy.
Sundar will travel to Australia for the T20I series. And, if he can impress the selectors and the skipper in his first tour to the land of the kangaroos and in the subsequent IPL edition, he can secure his berth in the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup in 2021.
14. Deepak Chahar
He can swing the ball both ways. And, he exhibits incredible control while doing so. Deepak Chahar can make the new ball talk and is a tricky bowler to face upfront.
Chahar was the second-highest wicket-taker for the Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2020, and his economy rate was an acceptable 7.61 as well. Deepak Chahar has exceptional bowling figures of 6/7 in T20I cricket. He achieved it against Bangladesh side.
Chahar can be particularly useful especially when he bowls in tandem with someone like Mohammed Shami. While Shami can cramp up the batsman with pace from one end, Chahar can flummox them with the movement he gets through the air and off the pitch.
15. Navdeep Saini
Navdeep Saini is another bowler who can clock in excess of 140 kmph on a consistent basis. In fact, Saini was the only Indian pacer to feature in the list of bowlers who have bowled the 100 fastest deliveries in the 13th edition of the IPL.
Saini has also been picked in both the ODI and T20I squads for the tour of Australia. And, if he can unsettle the batsmen in the challenging tour Down Under, Saini can surely strengthen his credentials and secure his place in the T20 squad for the World Cup 2021.
After all, there aren’t many Indian pacers who can clock in excess of 140 kmph on a regular basis. Isn’t it?
Note: All stats have been taken from Howstat cricket, Cricinfo and iplt20.com
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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