India has announced its 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup to be held in October-November later this year. Virat Kolhi will lead the men in blue and Rohit Sharma will be his deputy.
ICC T20 World Cup 2021: Here is the full squad:
Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Md Shami, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Ishan Kishan, Rahul Chahar, Varun Chakaravarthy
BCCI has also selected three reserves for the tournament. They are Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur.
In a surprise decision, the BCCI has decided to rope in ex-Indian captain and India's most successful ICC tournament captain, MS Dhoni as a mentor for the team.
Apart from the usual suspects in the selection, leg-spinner Rahul Chahar has been selected ahead of Kuldeep Yadav and more surprisingly Yuzvendra Chahal as a spinner. Ravichandran Ashwin has also made a comeback to the T20 team.
India's pace attack will be led by Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Md Shami. In the batting lineup, the selection of Rohit and Rahul as first-choice openers means that Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan have missed out.
MS Dhoni is back:
The most surprising selection of the evening is not a player though. MS Dhoni has been selected as a mentor for the upcoming World Cup. The ex-Indian captain is considered a brilliant strategist in the format by cricket pandits and is also experienced in guiding his teams to trophies, something that has eluded Virat Kholi till now.
BCCI secretary Jay Shah in a press conference said, "(I) spoke to him in Dubai. He agreed to be mentor for WT20 only and I discussed with my colleagues and all are on same page. I spoke to captain (Virat Kohli) and vice captain (Rohit Shamra) and everyone agreed," he added. (edited)
In the squad, Kishan and Chakaravarthy have been rewarded for their consistent performance in the IPL and the few opportunities they got with the Indian team.
The tournament will have a total of 45 matches with the final set to be played on November 14.
The Indian team, which is playing a sensational test series in England currently, will next use the second half of the IPL to prepare for the upcoming World Cup.
First Published: IST