After a fair bit of wait, India have finally announced their 15-man squad for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. The squad comes with a few surprises as Team India look poised to get their hands on the prestigious trophy for the second time.
The first big surprise sees off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin being called back to white-ball cricket after a long time. The Chennai spinner has been mostly doing wonders in the longer format of the game, but it looks like the decision has been taken considering his experience in major tournaments.
Much to the joy of the fans, former India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, under whose guidance India won the maiden ICC T20 World Cup back in 2007, has been roped in as a mentor for the elite tournament.
Jay Shah, the BCCI Honorary Secretary, spoke about the thinking behind bringing in Dhoni to help the squad shine bright:
“As far as Dhoni is concerned, I spoke to him when I was in Dubai. He was okay with the decision, and he agreed to be a mentor for Team India, for the T20 World Cup only.
“I spoke to the captain (Virat Kohli) and vice-captain (Rohit Sharma) as well as Ravi Shastri (the head coach), and that’s why we reached the conclusion.”
Kohli & Co. will kickstart their campaign in a mouth-watering Super 12 clash against arch-rivals Pakistan in Dubai on October 24.
The group stage will also see India lock horns with Afghanistan and New Zealand as well as two sides who will make the cut from Round 1 of the tournament which is set to get underway from October 17.
The top two teams in each group of the Super 12 stage will be playing the semi-finals, with the final set to be held in Dubai on November 14.
The surprise omissions from the squad have been Shreyas Iyer and Shardul Thakur, who are on standby.
Full squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami.