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India's T20 World Cup Squad: Big Star Benched, Wicketkeeper Slot in Limbo - Report

Photo : BCCI

As anticipation builds for the announcement of India's squad for the 2024 T20 World Cup, the national selection committee faces a daunting task. With the deadline to finalize the provisional 15-member squad approaching, Ajit Agarkar and his colleagues are deliberating over some critical decisions, aiming to strike the right balance between experience and potential.

According to a BCCI source, there will be no room for experimentation in the squad selection. Instead, proven performers in both T20 Internationals and the IPL will be prioritized, ensuring a blend of reliability and form.

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Among the tough decisions, it's speculated that either Shubman Gill or Yashasvi Jaiswal may miss out, with both vying for a spot in the final 15. Similarly, the competition for the second wicketkeeper's slot is fierce, with Sanju Samson facing stiff competition from Jitesh Sharma, KL Rahul, and Ishan Kishan.

While Hardik Pandya's bowling fitness remains a concern, his selection seems assured, along with stalwarts like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Suryakumar Yadav. However, there's uncertainty surrounding players like Jasprit Bumrah, who may be rested due to workload management.

In the batting department, the choice between Gill and Jaiswal poses a dilemma, as does the selection of the reserve spinner. Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Ravi Bishnoi are all contenders, each offering unique strengths to the team.

However, the selection process is not without its challenges. The Impact Player rule in the IPL has reshaped team dynamics, favoring specialists over all-rounders and impacting national team selections. As a result, players like Rahul Tewatia, once considered valuable for their dual skills, now find themselves on the sidelines.

While a new crop of T20 talents has emerged, including Riyan Parag, Mayank Yadav, Abhishek Sharma, and Harshit Rana, the selection committee may opt for a gradual integration approach, introducing them through bilateral series rather than high-pressure World Cup matches.

The probable 20-man squad, comprising 15 players and 5 standbys, reflects the depth of talent available to India. From specialist batters to all-rounders and pacers, the squad is poised to deliver a formidable challenge at the T20 World Cup, with each player eager to showcase their skills on the global stage.

April 18, 2024 3:18 p.m. 3546

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