ICC World T20 2022: Bumrah, Harshal return will address death bowling woes; Jadeja out due to injury
ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022: BCCI announce India's World Cup 2022 squad. Jasprit Bumrah, Harshal Patel return; Ravindra Jadeja out due to injury. Mohammed Shami, Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar and Ravi Bishnoi kept as Standby players.
With the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 just round the corner, India have announced their 15-member squad for the world event which is all set to be held in Australia in October-November. Due to their poor performance in the last tournament which took place in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2021, India had to take an early exit from the group stage of the competition.
Harshal and Bumrah return; Jadeja left out due to injury
The biggest relief for India is to see the return of their death over specialists, Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel, both of whom were left out for Asia Cup due to injury. The inaugural T20 World Cup champion team has also included left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh who too has displayed some expectational skills in the death overs.
A lot of faces in the team are familiar ones with the top four arranged with Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav. Deepak Hooda too has found a place, while Axar Patel is expected to cover Jadeja’s absence who picked up a knee injury recently.
India’s T20 World Cup 2022 Squad
Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (Vice-Captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Arshdeep Singh
Standby Players: Mohammed Shami, Shreyas Iyer, Ravi Bishnoi, Deepak Chahar
India have a long batting line-up but Jadeja’s absence may damage their balance in the playing eleven. Even after the return of Harshal Patel and Jasprit Bumrah, it will be interesting to see how both of them perform in the upcoming event coming after a layoff.
Let’s assess a few talking points on India’s T20 World Cup squad.
India is expected to follow their regular template
Since the poor performances in last year’s T20 World Cup, India under their new captain Rohit Sharma, have looked to go hard in the powerplay with bat in hand in an aim to post a huge total which will help their bowlers to defend the score.
In doing so, India have gone into most games in the last few series with three proper seam bowling options along with Hardik Pandya who generally bowls couple of overs in the middle phase, while Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravindra Jadeja were used in the spin bowling department.
The inclusion of Hardik and Jadeja in the side has ensured that India can look to go big at the start and let the power-hitters take care of the death overs. Also, with these two, India will always have six bowling options which is nowadays a sort of cushion especially on a day when it’s not going according to the plan for any bowler.
The return of Harshal and Bumrah boosts India’s confidence
It is a big relief for India as their premier bowler Jasprit Bumrah and death overs specialist Harshal Patel make a return in the Indian team after recovering from their respective injuries.
The main issue that caused India’s early exit from the recent Asia Cup has been their poor show with the ball in the death overs where they leaked a lot of runs in defending totals. Avesh Khan conceded runs at an economy of 12 run per over in two games that he played before being ruled out due to illness. He makes way for Harshal Patel, who has contributed a huge hand in the death overs with his slower balls and cutters to fox the batters.
India will be hugely boosted by the comeback of Jasprit Bumrah who can now divide his four overs in two parts with a couple at the start in the powerplay and the rest in the death overs. At the same time, though Bhuvneshwar Kumar earned some success with the new ball but his struggle in the death overs where he gave away 19 and 14 runs in the 19th over in two Asia Cup games against Pakistan and Sri Lanka, respectively, punched India badly.
Shami, Chahar provide cushion as standby options
While most of the players have been playing cricket in recent times to back their selection for the big assignment, one of the reserves for India in the form of Mohammed Shami hasn’t played white ball games since being involved against England in the middle of July 2022, but he has been called for the home T20I series against both Australia and South Africa, besides being placed in the standby position for the T20 World Cup 2022.
Deepak Chahar, who was added to the main squad from the reserves during India’s last game of Asia Cup against Afghanistan, has also been added as a standby player for the World Cup.
India’s decision to go with Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel, especially after the injury sustained by Ravindra Jadeja, was almost certain but with the inclusion of Ravichandran Ashwin which perhaps has been done due to his expertise against left-handers, India kept Ravi Bishnoi as a reserve player, who besides being a superb leg spinner is a gun fielder as well.
Jadeja’s absence breaks India’s balance
With the knee injury sustained by star all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, India will have to cope with new issues in forming a balanced team. The first big question that coach Rahul Dravid and captain Rohit Sharma will confront is how to cope up with the absence of Jadeja’s three dimensional skills.
Even though India have a stable looking squad, they are probably missing a player like Jadeja for the number sever spot. With Rahul and Rohit to open, while Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav to follow, India have Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant at number five and six. They also have four almost set bowling options but they are still trying to find out their number seven.
If Deepak Hooda is given the job then he has to bowl a few overs which he hasn’t done on a regular basis even when there was an opportunity available in the recently concluded Asia Cup for the same. Also, if India go with someone like Dinesh Karthik, then they will be short of bowling options and one doesn’t need to go too far back to realize how badly they struggled with five bowling options.
Considering this scenario, it seems likely that Axar Patel who also offers a left-hand option will come at the number seven place or India will toss up between him and Ravichandran Ashwin, depending on which opponent they will play on a given day. All in all, India have a solid side for October’s T20 World Cup and it is now the captain’s job to use his cards in the best possible way.
India will next play a three-match T20I series against Australia starting on September 20 at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali, before taking on South Africa in a three-match T20I series starting on September 28 at the Greenfield International Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram.
They will begin their T20 World Cup campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on October 23 at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in Melbourne.