Veteran Ravichandran Ashwin has found a place in India’s T20 World Cup squad ending his four-year hiatus from the limited-overs format.
Ashwin’s inclusion was one of the biggest surprises of the selection, which was done by the All India Selection Committee on Wednesday.
Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and chinaman Kuldeep Yadav have been left out of the squad. Chahal is India’s highest wicket-taker in the T20I format but there was no place for him due to lack of form. Rahul Chahar, Varun Chakravarthy are the other two spinners who have made the cut into the team along with spinning all-rounders Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel.
There was no place for Shikhar Dhawan, who has impressed with his blistering strike rate in the T20 format in the last couple of years. Dhawan was expected to be the backup opener but Chief selector Chetan Sharma has revealed that Ishan Kishan will be the third opening option if required.
Furthermore, another surprising selection was of Mohammed Shami, who hasn’t been that consistent in the shortest format of the game.
Shreyas Iyer, who has done a good job for the team since making his debut, has been named as the standby player along with Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur.
Moreover, former Indian skipper MS Dhoni has been named as the mentor of the team for the T20 World Cup and it is expected to be a one-off thing.
BCCI secretary Jay Shah said while announcing the squad on Wednesday (September 8), “As far as MS is concerned, I spoke to him when I was in Dubai. He agreed to be a mentor for T20 World Cup only. I also discussed the issue with my colleagues and they are all on the same page. I spoke to captain and vice-captain and as well as Ravi Shastri and they are all on the same page”.
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, Mohammed Shami.
Standby players: Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur.
India will begin their T20 World Cup campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on October 24 in Dubai.