On Wednesday, September 8, India revealed their 15-member roster for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, with off-spinner R Ashwin returning to the white-ball squad and MS Dhoni named team manager.The BCCI Honorary Secretary, Jay Shah, explained the reasoning behind naming Dhoni, the former India captain who guided the team to the maiden T20 World Cup championship.
“As for Dhoni, I spoke to him while I was in Dubai,” Shah added. “He was fine with the choice, and he decided to serve as a coach for Team India exclusively for the T20 World Cup.”
“I spoke with the captain (Virat Kohli) and vice-captain (Rohit Sharma), as well as Ravi Shastri (the head coach), and that’s how we came to our decision.”
The major news, though, was Ashwin’s comeback. The off-spinner last appeared for India in limited-overs cricket in 2017, after which he was confined to Test cricket. Since then, the likes of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal appeared to be India’s favourite choice in limited-overs cricket, but the duo has been left out of the 15-man roster, with just Rahul Chahar, the leg-spinner, and mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy making the cut.
Shikhar Dhawan, the opener who captained India in the limited-overs series in Sri Lanka in July, was also left out. Ishan Kishan, who can bat as an opener as well as bat in the middle order, and Suryakumar Yadav were both included to the team, while India went with three specialist all-rounders in Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, and Axar Patel. Krunal Pandya, the left-arm spinning all-rounder, was unable to compete. Frontline pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, and Jasprit Bumrah are included in the team.
On the 24th of October, Kohli’s team will face Pakistan in a high-octane Super12 match in Dubai.Aside from Pakistan, India has been assigned to Group 2 together with Afghanistan and New Zealand, as well as two teams from Round 1 of the competition, which begins on October 17.The top two teams from each Super12 group advance to the semi-finals, with the final scheduled for November 14 in Dubai.
Full squad: Virat Kohli (c), KL Rahul,Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Rahul Chahar, Varun Chakravarthy, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami;
Stand-by: Shreyas Iyer, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar.