When the selectors of the Indian team select the squad for next month’s ICC (International Cricket Council) T20 World Cup, they will have mystery spinner Varun Chakraborty and fast leg-break bowler Rahul Chahar for the role of extra spinner. It will be a challenge to choose.
The Chetan Sharma-led selection committee is expected to meet on Tuesday or Wednesday at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai with skipper Virat Kohli joining Manchester and coach Ravi Shastri online from London.
BCCI (Cricket Board of India) president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah (selection committee convener) may also be part of the most important selection meeting of the committee. Most of the teams are announcing a 15-man squad for this World Cup, while the BCCI may announce an 18- or 20-man squad.
The ICC has approved 30 people instead of 23 in the team due to the Kovid-19 epidemic. This also includes supporting team members. Any team can have more than 30 members but the cost will have to be borne by the cricket board of the country concerned. At least 13 to 15 members are almost certain to be selected in India’s white ball (limited overs) team. For some places the selectors will have to discuss.
For spinners, Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravindra Jadeja’s place in the team is almost certain. It will be a match between Chakraborty, who has performed brilliantly in the IPL (Indian Premier League) for extra spinners, and Rahul Chahar, who impressed on the tour of Sri Lanka, with both Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul capable of playing the role of wicketkeepers. In such a situation, Ishan Kishan, who has performed well in Sri Lanka, can be preferred over the talented Sanju Samson.
Samson has failed to perform according to his talent. While Suryakumar Yadav can get a place in the team, Shreyas Iyer is also likely to return. After Rohit Sharma and Rahul, it will be a contest between Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw, for the spot of the additional opener. Dhawan and Sau have done well in the IPL and then on the tour of Sri Lanka.
Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami (if fully fit) are almost certain to be picked in the fast bowling department. Deepak Chahar and Mohammad Siraj are also strong contenders in this.
Washington Sundar is out of the IPL due to injury, so even if he is selected, it will be without any match practice. Among the left-arm fast bowlers, Chetan Sakaria and T Natarajan are also contenders for a place in the team. Although Natarajan has been away from the game for a long time, Sakariya can accompany the team as a net bowler.
Probable squad: Selection almost certain (14): Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma, Lokesh Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Deepak Chahar, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur
Additional Openers: Shikhar Dhawan/Prithvi Shaw
Reserve Keeper: Ishan Kishan/Sanju Samson Additional Spinners: Varun Chakraborty/Rahul Chahar Left Arm Fast Bowler: Chetan Sakaria/T Natarajan Depends on Fitness: Washington Sundar. Reserve (substitute) for Jadeja: Axar Patel/Krunal Pandya.