Five Players India could groom ahead of World T20 2022 to be held in Australia

Axar Patel and Venkatesh Iyer could be India’s potential bowling all-rounders for the ICC World T20 2022 to be held in Australia.


Last year, the ICC World T20 event was played in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). India, under Virat Kohli, were one of the favourite teams to win the marquee event. However, they lost their opening match of the tournament against arch-rivals Pakistan; this loss also was their first to Pakistan in 13 games (ODIs & T20Is) in World Cups. To add salt to their wounds, the Kiwis too won their encounter against Virat and co quite convincingly.


Despite winning handsomely against Afghanistan, Scotland and Nambia, India didn't qualify for the Super 12 stages of ICC World T20 2021. The stage is set for India under a new T20I captain Rohit Sharma and a new venue Australia. India’s opening encounter is again scheduled against Pakistan on October 23, 2022 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).


This year also, India have a team that can win the premier T20 international tournament. They have some quality all-rounders who can effect a difference in the final analysis. The young and dynamic players have gained exposure through the Indian Premier League (IPL) where they have been groomed under some legends in their respective franchise.


Let’s take a look at five players who should be given more chances to be match-ready for the ICC World T20 2022 in Australia. India will be playing three T20I bilateral series of three matches each against West Indies, Sri Lanka and England. Also, a five-match T20I series against South Africa is in the pipeline and Asia Cup T20 tournament will also be played before the World Cup.

Five Players India could groom ahead of World T20 2022 to be held in Australia. Axar Patel is a like-for-like replacement for Ravindra Jadeja in the squad
Axar Patel is a like-for-like replacement for Ravindra Jadeja in the squad. (©BCCI)

Axar Patel

Axar Patel has done well in the Test matches played at home but he is yet to play the traditional format in overseas conditions. As far as limited overs fixtures go, he has not given decent performances regularly enough in national colours. Patel also plays the IPL and he is a handy batter down the order. He can provide the finishing blows which can help the team end the innings on a good note. Axar Patel is a like-for-like replacement for Ravindra Jadeja. Jadeja is almost sure to get a nod ahead of Axar in the T20I squad. But if Jadeja gets injured again then Axar Patel can be the man to replace him.


Axar can bowl in the middle overs. He is an attacking bowler who doesn't only contain the run flow but can also pick up wickets when they are needed the most. India might look to strengthen their batting in Australia. If Ravindra Jadeja is unavailable or fails to deliver, Axar can bat at the number at six or seven to give India the finish they need. In the IPL, Axar has shown his capabilities with the bat. Can he repeat that in a tournament like the World T20?


Axar Patel’s T20 International career summary

Format

Mat

Inn

Runs

Wkt

Eco

Bat Ave

Bow Ave

HS

BBF

T20I

15

10

78

13

6.7

19.5

27.31

20

3/9

IPL

109

78

953

95

7.22

17.33

29.07

44

4/21

Five Players India could groom ahead of World T20 2022 to be held in Australia. Venkatesh Iyer is a like-for-like replacement for Hardik Pandya in the squad.
Venkatesh Iyer had a great success in IPL 2021 held at UAE (©BCCI/IPL)

Venkatesh Iyer

After failing in his debut ODI series against South Africa, Venkatesh Iyer has been excluded from India’s ODI squad against West Indies but he will look to make a strong comeback in the T20I series against the Caribbean side, which begins on February 16, 2022 at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Venkatesh is a good batsman and a handy bowler.


India need a batting all-rounder to bat at number six. Venkatesh needs to play the batting role of Hardik Pandya at that position. The team which played the T20 World Cup last year didn’t have the fifth bowling option because Hardik didn’t bowl a single over. So, in World T20 2022, Venkatesh might replace Hardik. But he still needs to prove that with good performances in IPL 2022 and the upcoming T20I series against West Indies. He can also open the batting in the T20s. He showed that in the second-half of IPL 2021. His performances lifted Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and they stormed into the finals of last year's IPL.


Venkatesh Iyer’s T20I career summary

Format

Mat

Inn

Runs

Wkt

Eco

Bat Ave

Bow Ave

HS

BBF

T20I

3

3

36

1

4

18

12

20

1/12

IPL

10

10

370

4

8.12

41.11

23

67

2/29

Five Players India could groom ahead of World T20 2022 to be held in Australia. Harshal Patel was the purple cap holder of IPL 2021 with 32 wickets.
Harshal Patel was the purple cap holder of IPL 2021 with 32 wickets. (©BCCI/IPL)

Harshal Patel

The right-arm pacer from Gujarat played for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in IPL 2021 where he ended up as the Purple Cap holder with a straggering haul of 32 wickets, a good 8 wickets more than the second-ranked Avesh Khan in the list.


The 32-year-old pacer, Harshal Patel is a formidable force in IPL and has the ability to adapt quickly to game situations. He surely needs more opportunities to be ready for the World T20 in Australia. The pacy pitches of Australia will also help Harshal bowl better lines and lengths. It is good in one way that he was smashed by Ravindra Jadeja for 37 runs in that last over of the CSK vs RCB match in IPL 2021. Nothing could be worse than that and Harshal could only do better from there on which he did in the last season of cricket’s marquee league to end up as the highest wicket-taker.


India will need a fast bowler who will be good with the new ball and prove to be handy in the death overs along with Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah. Harshal can also bowl slower deliveries, yorkers, knuckle balls with variations, and he can also add depth to India’s batting.

Harshal Patel’s T20I career summary

Format

Mat

Inn

Runs

Wkt

Eco

Bat Ave

Bow Ave

HS

BBF

T20I

2

1

18

4

7.29

18

12.75

18

2/25

IPL

63

28

187

78

8.58

11

23.18

36

5/27

Five Players India could groom ahead of World T20 2022 to be held in Australia. Avesh Khan was the second highest wicket-taker in IPL 2021 with 24 wickets (©BCCI/IPL)
Avesh Khan was the second highest wicket-taker in IPL 2021 with 24 wickets (©BCCI/IPL)

Avesh Khan

The Delhi Capitals pace bowler has been named in the T20I squad against the West Indies in the three-match series of the shortest format. Avesh Khan has done well in the cash-rich IPL so far, and this series against WI will be his first one in the national colours. Like all other Indian players, Avesh is also thrilled with his maiden call-up to play for the country.

Avesh should get his debut cap in the first T20I match at Eden Gardens. He can be an asset for India in World T20 2022. The team management should consider resting the premier pacers Bumrah and Shami in some less important matches so that bowlers like Avesh could be ready for the big stage.


Avesh Khan is a seam bowler who could use the new ball well. He can also generate bounce from the pitches and his death over bowling prowess in the ICC marquee event will be crucial. He regularly clocks in excess of 140 kmph.


Avesh Khan’s IPL career summary

Format

Mat

Inn

Wkt

Eco

Bow Ave

SR

BBF

IPL

25

25

29

8.23

25.83

18.63

3/13

Five Players India could groom ahead of World T20 2022 to be held in Australia. Ravi Bishnoi took 12 wickets at an ave of 19.16 in IPL 2021
Ravi Bishnoi took 12 wickets at an ave of 19.16 in IPL 2021 (©BCCI/IPL)

Ravi Bishnoi

The leg-spinner from Rajasthan was a star in ICC Under-19 World Cup 2020 held in South Africa. He had bagged the most wickets for India in that tournament. Ravi Bishnoi also appeared for Punjab Kings (PBKS) in the IPL and now he will play for the Lucknow franchise along with KL Rahul and Marcus Stoinis. Bishnoi might also make his T20I debut against the West Indies next month.


Bishnoi has the potential to make an impact in the upcoming T20I bilateral series that India will play. He can easily replace Yuzvendra Chahal in the lineup. Bishnoi now should show his worth at the international level, and for that, he needs to use every opportunity which come his way.


Ravi Bishnoi’s IPL career summary

Format

Mat

Inn

Wkt

Eco

Bow Ave

SR

BBF

IPL

23

23

24

6.97

25.25

21.75

3/24

Read More: SA vs Ind, ODIs 2021-22: Tale of Missed Opportunities for India and perhaps a Shift in ODI Template

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