The biggest cricketing nation, yes we are talking about India. The cricket passionate country became the 6th nation to announce their squad for the much-awaited 2021 T20 World Cup which is slated to be played from the 17th of October in the UAE.
The inaugural T20 title winners have made some bold and aggressive moves ahead of the WC as RCB star Yuzvendra Chahal, who usually is a regular in India's T20 plans did not find his name in the list and we will rather see India's leading test bowler Ravichandran Ashwin making his comeback to the shortest format.
The decision to appoint former Indian skipper MS Dhoni as the team's mentor also has been well-received among the Indian supporters. The only skipper to have won all the ICC major trophies, his experience and ideology could be the game-changer for the Men in blue.
India's 15-member squad: Virat Kohli(C), Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Ishan Kishan, Varun Chakravarthy, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami
Reserves: Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, and Shreyas Iyer
Let us a look at the probable playing Xl of team India ahead of the 2021 T20 World cup and how the players have fared in recent times.
1) Rohit Sharma
Well, this man needs no intro. Commonly known as "Hitman", the 34-year old has been over the headlines ever since he took over as the skipper of Mumbai Indians. Sharma arguably has been the best IPL skipper to date and with 111 matches to his name, he also holds the record for playing the most T20I matches for team India. With his ability to play almost all the shots in the book and make the spinners feel insecure, Sharma could hold the key for team India.
Rohit Sharma T20 stats
2) Virat Kohli (Captain)
If not a cricketer, the Indian skipper would have become a lawyer, yes, he is someone who loves bailing out his team from the worst scenarios and there is no doubt his role in the 7th edition of the WC could be extensive. With over 3159 runs under his belt in the shortest format, he stands to be the only cricketer to have scored more than 3000 runs in the T20Is and stands well ahead of the second-placed Martin Guptill.
Virat Kohli T20 stats
**The RCB skipper also stands to be the only player to have an average of above the 50 mark in the list of players who have scored over 1000 runs in T20Is.
3) Suryakumar Yadav
Another Mumbai Indians find Suryakumar Yadav has been the talk of the town ever since his spectacular innings of 79* of 43 balls to steer Mumbai Indians to a 5 wicket win against RCB in what seemed an unlikely win for Mumbai.
One of the few players in the Indian side who can play 360 and his ability to stay cool under pressure situations will surely give the Indians an edge. We feel the 30-year old should bat at the No.4 position which could provide great stability to the Indian line-up especially with Kohli at No.3.
Suryakumar Yadav T20 stats
4) KL Rahul
A revelation in the batting line-up of team India, he showcased some exemplary gameplay at the top-order for team India in the ongoing Test series against England. In addition to his ability to take the responsibility behind the stumps, his records at the IPL have been quite impressive and dominating. We feel Kl Rahul would be given the opening role alongside Rohit Sharma and if the pair do get a start, the opponents could well be out of the match-up pretty sooner than expected.
KL Rahul T20 stats
**KL Rahul’s score of 132* is the highest by an Indian in the Indian Premier League.
5) Rishabh Pant (Wicket-keeper)
A compact destructive machine, Rishabh Pant seldom respects the bowlers. Let alone his ability to put any spinner under pressure from the word go. Pant has been doing wonderful work behind the stumps and is certain that he will be looked ahead of Kl Rahul for the role. Said that, the shortest format is his forte and he is likely to be given full freedom by the Indian skipper to go ahead and play his game.
Pant’s innings of 89* off 138 balls against Australia which helped India breach the Gabba fortress is still resonating among the Indian supporters and they would be hoping he keeps the followers entertained.
6) Hardik Pandya
The explosive Indian all-rounder has not been in the best of the forms in the last couple of months and he has not been able to contribute with the ball either as he is recovering from the back surgery. However, don’t let his current form deceive you as the 27-year old has been a proven match-winner on various both for team India and the Mumbai Indians.
His cameos will be of great essence in the global event and if he does manage to roll his arm for a few overs, the story could be well in favor of the all-rounder. How many of you remember his quick-fire 90 against the Aussies or his stunning 60* off 21 balls against Rajasthan Royals in the last edition of the IPL.
Hardik Pandya T20 Stats
7) Ravindra Jadeja
A great asset in all three formats of the game, the “Swordsman” Ravindra Jadeja could on his day change the course of the game in his team’s favor in a matter of a couple of overs. If not with the bat, Jadeja can be crucial with the ball as he is the knack for picking up wickets and also runs through his overs at a quick pace to keep the batsmen in check.
The 32-year old will also hold an extensive role in the field and his electric presence in the ground could be a great booster for team India.
Ravindra Jadeja T20 stats
8) Ravichandran Ashwin
A bold and excellent decision by the Indian management one would say, as the experienced Indian all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin will find himself back donning the blue jersey. Irrespective of the format, the off-spinner is a great entity when it comes to luring the batsmen to play the big shots and he often makes easy work of the left-handers, which could well prove very decisive keeping in mind the fact the teams like West Indies and England have an arsenal of left-handers in their squad.
And for the avid cricket followers, the duo Ravichandran Ashwin and Jadeja on the field could bring some nostalgic feelings.
Ravichandran Ashwin stats
9) Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Probably India’s best swing bowler, he is likely to get the thumbs up ahead of Mohammad Siraj mainly due to his vast experience and ability to take the ball into the batsmen. The conditions in UAE are likely to suit the 31-year old and he has proven his ability to keep the batsmen in check during the powerplay and that could come in handy against the big-hitting teams like West Indies and New Zealand.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the Power Plays (T20I)
Overs: 101, Runs: 581, Wickets: 22, Economy: 5.75, Avg: 26.4
**Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s economy of 5.75 in the powerplay is the best among all the bowlers who have bowled at least 60 overs in the Power Plays (T20I).
Bhuvneshwar Kumar T20 stats
10) Jasprit Bumrah
“Boom Boom” Bumrah, India’s leading pacer, and World’s no.7th ranked bowler in the ODIs, 27-year old could prove deadly in the death overs with his toe crushing yorkers. Bumrah has been an evolution ever since he made his debut. From being a specialist in bowling the yorkers, Bumrah has worked hard to rank up the list as a complete bowler, he can trouble the batsmen with his unplayable lengths combined with the distinguished angle that he generates because of his action.
Jasprit Bumrah T20 stats
**Bumrah recently became the fastest Indian pacer to pick up 100 Test wickets. He is also the only Indian bowler to feature in the Top 10 list.
11) Mohammad Shami
Pace, swing, experience. Add temperament and dedication to it. You have Mohammad Shami. A bowler who bowls his heart out every time he rolls his arm and someone who does not shy away from making his emotions echoed. Shami could be a deadly force when on song and his mighty blows with the bat could also add valuable essence to the Indian side. The trio of Bumrah, Shami, and Bhuvneshwar could indeed turn out to be lethal and it could be a gala for the Indian supporters if the trio are at their best.
Mohammad Shami T20 stats
India will also have Varun Chakravarthy, Rahul Chahar, Axar Patel, and Ishan Kishan waiting to make full optimization of their opportunity and we might also see a rotation policy that may be implemented by the Indian side.
Do you agree with our playing Xl? What would your playing Xl look like? Do let us know in the comments the changes you feel should be implemented. Also, stay tuned with Cricwizz for all the exclusive and latest content revolving around the second most followed sport in the world.