MS Dhoni to lead as well as keep as we look at the combined all-time best playing 11 for Team India for T20 World Cup.
T20 World Cup is a tournament that would always be close to all Indian fans. Back in 2007 when MS Dhoni and his men scripted history to become the first team ever to win the prestigious tournament, not only did it change the face of Indian cricket but it also paved the way for India to launch the biggest T20 tournament in the world, the Indian Premier League.
Since its launch back in 2007, the T20 World Cup has been played 7 times, and while India won it the first time, they couldn’t replicate the success the next 6 times. However, India did have some really good players that played over the years, and gave some memorable performances in all the tournaments.
So, in this article, we take a look at eleven such players lead by MS Dhoni that would form the all-time best playing 11 for Team India for T20 World Cup. As usual, we will select the XI without any biases or perceptions. We will select the players on the basis of performance rating and for someone who has scored at least 200 runs and taken at least 10 wickets.
Openers: Rohit Sharma & Gautam Gambhir
If we see the Indian openers over the years only three names have had a significant prominence in T20 World Cup. Those are Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, and Gautam Gambhir. Of these three, Rohit Sharma and Gautam Gambhir have been the two openers that have performed the best for Team India over the years.
Rohit Sharma is the current leading run-scorer for Team India in T20 World Cups with 847 runs to his name from 30 innings at an average of 38.5 and a strike rate of 38.5. Whereas Gautam Gambhir, the hero of the 2007 World Cup final has 524 runs to his name from 21 innings at an average of 26.2 and a strike rate of 118.
Middle-order: Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli & Yuvraj Singh
The number 3 inevitably belongs to King Kohli, who has been the best performer for Team India in T20 World Cups. Kohli currently has 845 runs to his name from just 21 innings at a stunning average of 76.8 and a strike rate of 129.8. He has 10 fifties to his name, which happens to be the most by any batter in T20 World Cups. His knock vs Australia in Mohali happens to be one of the best knocks in the history of the tournament.
The number 4 can be Suresh Raina or Yuvraj Singh, but Suresh Raina seems a good fit for this position. He remains the only Centurian for Team India in T20 World Cup when he hit 101 against South Africa in the 2010 World Cup. This also happens to be the first century for Team India in T20Is. Overall, Raina has 453 runs to his name from 21 innings.
Talking about Yuvraj Singh, the Player of the tournament for Team India in 2007 has also been a key player in World Cups. He played from 2007 to 2016 and scored 593 runs from 28 innings. He would always be remembered for the 2007 World Cup where he hit the fastest fifty off 12 balls and scored a blistering 70(30) against Australia in the Semis.
WK Finisher: MS Dhoni (C&WK)
Come to the finisher and Captain for Team India, and we look no beyond the Captain Cool, MS Dhoni. The man who helped Team India clinch the 2007 T20 World Cup has been an integral part of developing the team from 2007 to 2016. During this tenure, India won the World Cup once, and went to the final and semifinal once. As a batter, MS Dhoni wasn’t bad with 529 runs to his name from 29 innings at an average of 35.3 and strike rate of 123.9.
Spinners: Ravindra Jadeja & Ravichandran Ashwin
The spin department sees Team India’s most successful duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin. While Ravichandran Ashwin is the leading wicket-taker for Team India in T20 World Cups with 26 wickets from 18 innings, Jadeja isn’t far behind with 21 wickets from 22 innings. In addition, Jadeja also has 95 runs to his name as a batter.
Pacers: Jasprit Bumrah, Ashish Nehra & RP Singh
Pace bowling is where Team India had a lot of successful pacers. The likes of Irfan Pathan, who was the player of the match in the 2007 Final, L Balaji, the unsung warrior, or Zaheer Khan, the champion bowler. But the ones that stood out from the rest include Ashish Nehra, RP Singh, and Jasprit Bumrah.
While Jasprit Bumrah’s performance is well known in the 2016 and 2021 T20 World Cup, RP Singh and Ashish Nehra are very underrated. RP Singh, one of the best swing bowlers for India has 14 wickets to his name from just 9 innings at a superb average of 13.3; the lowest among the top 10 wicket-takers. Wheres Ashish Nehra has 15 wickets to his name from 10 innings at an economy rate of just 6.89.
T20 World Cup: All-time Best Playing 11 for Team India
Rohit Sharma, Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni (C&WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Ashish Nehra & RP Singh
So, that completes the all-time best playing 11 for Team India for T20 World Cup led by MS Dhoni. We are eagerly waiting for T20 World Cup 2022, and from the ones mentioned here, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, and Ravichandran Ashwin are still active.
Thanks for reading! What’s your all-time best playing for Team India for T20 World Cup? Please email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Adesh Kothari is the founder of AK4Tsay1 Cricalytics with over 20 years of experience following Cricket.
Cricket to him is like what Football is to Lionel Messi, Singing is to Lata Mangeshkar, Dancing is to Michael Jackson, and Acting is to Clint Eastwood.
Besides his effervescent love for Cricket, Adesh is an MBA by qualification.