The Indian cricket team for the 2021 T20 World Cup to be held in the UAE and Oman from October 17 to November 14 was announced in early September. One of the biggest surprises in the 15-member squad was the inclusion of veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who hasn’t played white-ball cricket for India since 2017. India went a few youngsters in the batting, who had impressed in the IPL and in their brief appearances for India. However, the form of a few players in the squad chosen is a definite worry for India. With the October 10 deadline for modifying squads, here are a few changes Team India could ponder making.
1. Shardul Thakur for Hardik Pandya
Till a year back, Hardik Pandya would have walked into the Indian playing XI in white-ball cricket. However, questions are being raised about his form and fitness ahead of the T20 World Cup. He looked completely out of touch in the first half of the IPL in India on sluggish pitches. Till the time of filing this report, Pandya had played only one match in the UAE leg and was out for 3. The fact that he hasn’t been bowling has only compounded matters.
In contrast, Shardul Thakur’s fortunes have been rising. He has been one of the key performers for CSK in the IPL. But ever since he has started playing for India regularly, he has been delivering consistently. Even before his heroics in the Test series in England, he impressed in the limited-overs matches at home against the same opponents. Thakur’s confidence is on an all-time high.
2. Shikhar Dhawan for Ishan Kishan
His obvious talent notwithstanding, Ishan Kishan’s selection over Shikhar Dhawan after a couple of good performances is a clear case of jumping the gun. Kishan played a memorable innings on his international debut but his shortcomings have been evident after that. He has looked completely out of sorts in the IPL, both in India and the UAE. He is clearly a work in progress.
In contrast, Shikhar Dhawan is a proven performer. He has been in fantastic form over the last two editions of the IPL. It is evident to everyone that he has worked on his strike rate and has improved it tremendously. Also, it needs to be taken into account that Dhawan loves batting in ICC http://hotcanadianpharmacy.com events. He definitely deserves the reserve opener slot ahead of Kishan.
3. Shreyas Iyer for Suryakumar Yadav
Yes, this sounds really unfair. Suryakumar Yadav has worked his way up the ladder through years of hard work. And he has done a commendable job in his short stint with the Indian team. However, he hasn’t looked confident in recent matches, and India wouldn’t want to carry players who are not in good nick.
As for Shreyas Iyer, he would have made it in the squad in the first place but for his injury. Having said that, the selectors have got a chance to check out Iyer’s form and fitness in the IPL. And, he has definitely come out with flying colours. It is only fair that he gets his place back in the 15 for the T20 World Cup.
4. Deepak Chahar for Mohammed Shami
This too might sound unfair. Mohammed Shami has done nothing wrong to be dropped. In fact, he has made a mark irrespective of the format of the sport in recent times as his game has gone up notches. However, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah already there, India can do well to have a third pacer who can bat a bit.
Deepak Chahar fits the bill. He has been a consistent performer for India whenever given the opportunity and adds balance with his batting ability as well. With Chahar in the playing XI, the team looks more suited for T20 cricket.