Virat Kohli to lead as we look at the predicted final squad for Team India for the T20 World Cup 2021.
Please note, the update has been updated on September 8 after it was announced that Washington Sundar may miss the World Cup.
In what was actually a dress rehearsal series for Team India ahead of the T20 World Cup 2021, the Sri Lanka T20I series finished on a disappointing note for Team India. While part of the loss can be termed to the lack of senior players due to COVID-19 isolation rules, part of it was due to poor batting by the youngsters.
The T20I series was the last official T20 series for Team India before the World Cup. Even though the seniormost team wasn’t playing, the T20I series vs Sri Lanka gave a fair idea of who is most-likely to make it to the final squad for the T20 World Cup. But with IPL 2021 scheduled just before the World Cup, the players in contention may get a final shot at the selection.
In general, a World Cup sees a team selecting an official squad of 15 players. But owing to COVID-19 pandemic contingency, a team may be allowed to carry a squad of 20 players with 15 being the official players and 5 being reserves. However, this is just an assumption, and the actual squad strength may be known a few weeks before the T20 World Cup 2021.
So, as we stand today, what could be the predicted squad for Team India for the T20 World Cup (WC) 2021? Who are the favorites for the wicket-keeper position? Who would be the leading spinners? Which player is in contention for the opening position? Let’s find out in the article.
Primary: KL Rahul (WK) // Rohit Sharma // Shikhar Dhawan
Reserve: Prithvi Shaw
As we talk about openers for Team India, two names stand out from the rest, and those are Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. While Rohit Sharma is the current best white-ball opener in the world, KL Rahul’s form in IPL in the last three years makes him a hot commodity as an opener. Barring these two, the Captain for the Sri Lanka tour, Shikhar Dhawan should be the backup opener in the final 15.
Coming to the reserve opener, it would be a fight between Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal. Given Prithvi Shaw’s aggressive nature, it should prompt the management to prefer him over Mayank Agarwal. But a lot would depend on how these two perform in IPL 2021. Currently, It is still 60-40 in Prithvi Shaw’s favor. Team Management can also look at Sanju Samson if he gives good returns in IPL.
Primary: Rishabh Pant (WK) // Shreyas Iyer // Suryakumar Yadav // Virat Kohli (C)
Reserve: Ishan Kishan (WK)
As seen from the past, the middle-order for Team India should see captain Virat Kohli and wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant as the leading two choices. Barring these two, Suryakumar Yadav has had a phenomenal debut for Team India. His aggressive intent and consistency should make him the third-choice middle-order batsman.
Coming to the last middle-order spot in the final 15, it would be a fight between Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer. While Shreyas Iyer has the experience, Ishan Kishan’s fearless approach should be a deciding factor. In any which case, both will definitely fly to UAE as a part of the 20 member squad. But in the final 15, Shreyas Iyer has an upper hand.
Primary: Hardik Pandya // Ravindra Jadeja // Shardul Thakur
Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja should without any debate make it in the final 15 as the leading all-rounders for Team India. While Hardik’s form is a slight worry, his return to action as a bowler is a blessing for Team India. Ravindra Jadeja, meanwhile, is in the form of his life. His 3-dimensional value is what India would need the most.
The third all-rounder would have ideally been Washington Sundar. But given that he is out of IPL 2021, and may miss the World Cup as well, Shardul Thakur seems to be the ideal bet. Shardul currently is the form of his life. Not just as a bowler, he is making great inroads as a batsman too. However, The team can also think of including either Axar Patel or Krunal Pandya to boost the spin department.
Primary: Rahul Chahar // Yuzvendra Chahal
Reserve: Varun Chakravarthy
Yuzvendra Chahal shall undoubtedly start as the leading spinner for Team India. He has been doing that at the International stage or IPL for the past 2-3 years, and that is what makes him the preferred spinner for Team India. Apart from him, the fight shall be between Rahul Chahar and Varun Chakravarthy for the second spinner spot.
If you observed the T20I series against Sri Lanka, Varun Chakravarthy was preferred in the playing 11 above Rahul Chahar even though the latter has been impressive in the limited time for Team India. But the selection of these two shall depend on the variety of attacks India is looking for.
With Washington Sundar, the off-break Mystery spinner already in the squad, Team management may prefer a second wrist-spinner ahead of finger spinner, Varun Chakravarthy. But if Krunal Pandya is preferred above Washington Sundar, which looks unlikely then Varun Chakravarthy shall be preferred above Rahul Chahar.
Primary: Bhuvneshwar Kumar // Jasprit Bumrah // Mohammed Shami
Reserve(s): T Natarajan // Deepak Chahar
The selection of the pacers shall be the most difficult task for Team India. There are as many as 7 good pacers in contention for 3 spots in the final 15 and 5 spots in the final 20. If the T20 World Cup was in ANZ or England, all 7 would have made it, but with UAE as the destination, Team India can only afford a maximum of 5 pacers.
Looking at the options, Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar shall undoubtedly make it to the final 15 as the leading two pacers. The third pacer has 5 contentions in the form of Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Deepak Chahar, T Natarajan, and Shardul Thakur.
It is a difficult choice to be honest, as Natarajan has been impressive as a death overs bowler, Shardul Thakur and Deepak Chahar bring quality batting depth and good bowling options. Whereas Mohammed Siraj’s confidence and swing ability at the top make him a good choice. But of all, the experience of Mohammed Shami seems more lethal.
Shami may not be the most economical bowler, but he is a wicket-taker. He was one of Team India’s best bowlers in ODI WC 2015 and 2019, and has performed extremely well in IPL in the last couple of years. In a tournament like World Cup, India may need experience more than unique skills to emerge victorious in crunch matches.
For the fourth pacer category, T Natarajan seems a leading contender, followed by Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, and Mohammed Siraj. But these two spots shall be decided based on IPL 2021 performance, and also what kind of combination Team India shall choose.
T20 World Cup 2021 – Predicted Squad for Team India:
Official Squad of 15:
Batsmen: KL Rahul (WK), Rishabh Pant (WK), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav & Virat Kohli
All-rounders: Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja & Shardul Thakur
Bowlers: Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Rahul Chahar & Yuzvendra Chahal
Coach: Ravi Shastri // Captain: Virat Kohli // Vice-captain: Rohit Sharma
Additional 5 Reserves for COVID-19 Contingency:
Deepak Chahar, Ishan Kishan (WK), Prithvi Shaw, T Natarajan & Varun Chakravarthy
Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Mayank Agarwal & Mohammed Siraj
So, that completes the predicted squad for Team India for T20 World Cup 2021. We are almost there with 80% squad already selecting themselves. The remaining 20% shall now depend on the combination and form in IPL 2021.
Thanks for reading! What’s your predicted squad for Team India for T20 World Cup (WC) 2021? Please email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Adesh Kothari is the founder of AK4Tsay1 Cricalytics.
Cricket to him is like what ‘Football is to Lionel Messi’, ‘Singing is to Lata Mangeshkar’, ‘Dancing is to Michael Jackson’, and what ‘Acting is to Clint Eastwood’.
Besides his effervescent love for Cricket, Adesh is an MBA by qualification.