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India's T20 World Cup Squad, One Spinner Too Many

Opinion Saturday 11/September/2021 17:44 PM
By: Anis Sajan, Vice Chairman, Danube group
India's T20 World Cup Squad, One Spinner Too Many

Insia's 15-member squad announced for the T20 World Cup has more spinners than pacers. India announced a strong squad which has a mix of youth and experienced players comprising six specialist batsmen in Virat Kohli as Captain, Rohit Sharma as Vice-Captain, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishab Pant and Ishan Kishan, three All-rounders in Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel, three specialist spinners in Ravichandran Ashwin, Rahul Chahar and Varun Chakravarthy and three fast bowlers in Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. India also named three players as reserves in Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur who will act as reserves or Covid -19 replacements.

By picking five spinners India’s think tank believes that the pitches would get tired after the workload of 31 IPL matches which is getting over by 15th October when the finals will be played at the Dubai Cricket Stadium.

But five spinners and only three pacers in a tournament as World Cup, I believe India has got one spinner too many and one pacer short. Deepak Chahar who has been Dhoni’s go to man in the IPL as a strike bowler was unlucky to miss out being in the main squad.

Even though he has just played 19 T20 games, he has a good average of just 19.30 with his economy being 7.59 which is acceptable as he mainly bowls all overs in the power play.

Overall he has rich wealth of experience in the IPL and can swing the ball and get early wickets which is very important in the shortest format.

Moreover, wickets in Dubai and Abu Dhabi have a history of supporting fast bowlers and the Sharjah Cricket ground has smaller boundaries so India has taken the risk of one spinner too many and compromised on their fast bowling.

The biggest surprise has been the return of Ravichandran Ashwin who last played an international T20 in 2017 but has been a force in IPL and is very good in the power play and is a threat for lefthanders. India will pick him against team which has more lefthanders.

My favourite pick has been Varun Chakravarthy as he has six different deliveries and is still a mystery to many players. He should be India’s trump card in the T20 World Cup as he not picks wickets but also not easy to get away.

India did add an ace in their think tank by picking MS Dhoni as their mentor for this World Cup which will be a great calming boost for the aggressive Virat Kohli who is very good in assessing a pitch and will help pick the right playing eleven.

India has not won a T20 World cup title after winning the inaugural one and all eyes will be on this star studded team which has a wealth of experience in playing the IPL and are one of the favourites along with England to go all the way.

Will India’s selected players fulfill the dream of 1.3 billion Indian fans on November 14, only time will tell but one thing is for sure that this was one squad everyone around the world was waiting for and it has been finally announced.