BCCI announced Team India's 15-man squad for ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021. Former India Captain MS Dhoni is called up to mentor team India for the T20 World Cup. The T20 World Cup will be held in the UAE and Oman from October 17 to November 14. India’s first game is against Pakistan on October 24 in Dubai.
India have opted to get more spinners as compared to pacers as the Indian team will be playing their games only in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Post IPL 2021 gets over, pitches at these venues might assist spin could be possible reason for selecting more spinners in the squad.
The big names like Shikhar Dhawan, Yuzvendra Chahal have been left out from the squad. On the other side, Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur are three more members who are kept in reserves.
MS Dhoni appointed Mentor
Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been named as the mentor for the Indian team during the T20 World Cup 2021.
Dhoni's appointment comes one year after the former India skipper announced his retirement from international cricket. His presence will definitely motivate the young members of the squad to achieve greater glories.
Dhoni was one of the world’s best captains and has many laurels against his name. India have won all the three ICC trophies under him and he is the only captain to do so in the world. He has also helped Chennai Super Kings to three IPL and two Champions League titles under his leadership. CSK has won 100 plus matches under Mahi’s reign.
Ravichandran Ashwin makes return to T20 side
Ravichandran Ashwin has been called back to the T20 squad first time after 2017. Washington Sundar has met with an injury and is not part of the squad.
Ashwin is in top form this year in the Indian Premier League for Delhi Capitals. His presence in the squad will motivate the Indian cricket team as well as boost the confidence of the side while entering one of the world’s biggest tournaments.
Five Spinners in squad
The selectors have gone with five spinners in this squad which includes two left-arm orthodox spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel, two leg-spinners Rahul Chahar and Varun Chakravarthy and one off-spinner Ravichandaran Ashwin.
There is no place for Yuzvendra Chahal in the World Cup squad. It is a big surprise not to sse name of Chahal in the list as he is one of the world’s best leg spinners.
Yuzvendra Chahal has been India’s best T20 and first-choice leg-spinner. He has been recognised as the world’s second best leg spinner after Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan. Not seeing the name of Chahal in the list of five spinners in the squad is a very big disappointment for Indian cricket as well as his fans.
Shreyas Iyer not able to make the cut
The Delhi Capitals captain Shreyas Iyer was not able to make it to the 15-member squad due to injury, although he is there in the three member reserve list.
He has also missed the first phase of the Indian Premier League 2021 due to injury. Ishan Kishan has been given an opportunity in place of Iyer as he is in form and scoring runs in the IPL and give a left-right combination advantage at the top of the order.
Shikhar Dhawan's omission also came as a surprise as he has been in his prime form lately. He was highest scorer in ODIs and T20Is on India tour of Sri Lanka earlier this year, highest run scorer in IPL 2021 and second-highest run getter in IPL 2020. This must be hard to digest why a player of Gabbar's caliber couldn't make a cut in the T20 World Cup.
Jay Shah, secretary of BCCI, revealed that the main reason behind appointing Dhoni as the mentor is that he has won the T20 World Cup for India.
"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,” said Jay Shah.
He also added: “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."
TEAM - Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma (vc), 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, Mohd Shami.
Standby players – Shreyas Iyer, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar.
Twitter Reactions as MS Dhoni back with Team India
India announced 15-man squad for T20 World Cup and appointed MS Dhoni as Team India's mentor. This news sent chills down the spine for many Indian cricket fans across the globe and they expressed their love via Twitter. Here is the collection of some of the finest Twitter reactions:
Yuzvendra Chahal and Shikhar Dhwan's omission from T20 World Cup squad also didn't go well with some of the former cricketers and they expressed their consent via Twitter handle. Former Indian player, Harbhajan Singh and Aakash Chopra, mentioned Yuzvendra Chahal had been consistent for India in T20 and one of the best spinners going around the world and still dropped is unfathomable.