India's T20 World Cup 2024 squad selection explained: The good, the bad and the ugly

T20 World Cup 2024: Ajit Agarkar and his selection committee seem to have got most things right in terms of the composition of the 15-member provisional squad. However, Rinku Singh's omission has helped raise a few eyebrows. Here are the good, the bad and the ugly of India's squad for the showpiece event, starting June 2.
India's T20 World Cup 2024 squad selection explained: The good, the bad and the ugly
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The BCCI announced India's much-awaited 15-man preliminary squad for the T20 World Cup, starting June 2 in the USA and the Caribbean, on Tuesday. The 15 members of the Rohit Sharma-led squad and 4 travelling reserves were picked after the board secretary Jay Shah had a meeting with the senior selection panel, led by former fast bowler Ajit Agarkar. As expected, there were a few notable omissions, but the selectors steered clear of any surprise picks. Before we head into the positives and negatives of the World Cup batch of 2024, here is a quick glimpse of the composition of the squad.

Senior campaigners Rohit Sharma and, especially Virat Kohli made it to the 15 along with young opener Yashasvi Jaiswal. There were no real surprises in the middle order as Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya and comeback man Rishabh Pant were picked while Sanju Samson has been picked as the second wicketkeeping option. However, the decision to not name proven finisher Rinku Singh in the 15 has helped raise eyebrows. India have also gone in with Shivam Dube to add beef to the batting order.

Hardik Pandya is amongst the three all-rounders in the side and the MI captain was named as vice-captain despite his poor run with MI, who are all but out of the IPL 2024 playoffs race. Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel are the other two spinners.

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India's T20 World Cup 2024 squad selection explained: The good, the bad and the ugly

India's decision to name as many as 4 frontline spinners, including the wrist-spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, has been questioned. It has also left the pace-bowling attack thin -- a 3-man unit led by Jasprit Bumrah.

INDIA's T20 World Cup Squad

Batters: Rohit Sharma (captain), Virat Kohli, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Suryakumar Yadav.

Wicketkeepers: Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson.

All-rounders: Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Shivam Dube, Axar Patel, Ravindra Jadeja.

Bowlers: Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Arshdeep Singh, Mohammed Siraj.


Shubman Gill and Rinku Singh have been relegated to the reserves, which also features left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed, and right-arm pacer Avesh Khan.


Sticking with experience: Even though questions were asked about Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli's places in the T20 World Cup squad after they missed T20I action throughout 2023, the selectors have thrown their weight behind two of the team's most senior campaigners.

With the pitches in the USA, which is hosting a tournament of such magnitude for the first time, India need their experienced men to navigate through unfamiliar pitches in the league stage. Both Rohit (315) and Kohli (500) have scored heavily in IPL 2024 as they pushed for their sports in the final 15.

Good wicketkeeper choices: The selectors have rewarded Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson for their stellar IPL 2024 runs. Pant, who was not a regular in the T20I side even before his road accident, knocked on the selectors' doors with a sensational return to competitive action.

Pant has looked fitter than before and has been terrific with the bat and the gloves. The wicketkeeper-batter has scored 398 runs in 11 matches at a strike rate of 158, returning to his vintage self. Pant provides a left-handed option in the middle-order -- something that India have missed in their last two World Cup campaigns.

On the other hand, Samson has not just scored a load of runs (385 in 9 matches) in IPL 2024, but has showcased exceptional game awareness with the bat for table-toppers Rajasthan. The captain of the Royals has effortlessly switched gears, throwing caution to the wind, at times, and playing the anchor role on other occasions. Samson's ability to be a floater in the middle order will work in favour of the team. Not to forget his natural six-hitting ability. A well-deserved World Cup call-up, finally!

Backing Hardik Pandya: Yes, the MI captain has struggled for consistency with both bat and ball in IPL 2024. However, there's no doubting Hardik's class, especially in major tournaments. Hardik also seemed an automatic choice as he is the only world-class fast-bowling all-rounder in the side. Despite all the stick that Hardik has got from a section of fans amid MI's derailing IPL 2024 campaign, the backing from the selectors should do his confidence a world of good.

Picking Shivam Dube: India couldn't have missed a bonafide spin-destroyer in the middle-order. Dube's six-hitting ability against spin came to the fore during CSK's triumphant IPL campaign last year. The left-hander has worked hard on his skills and has taken the attack to pacers this year. Dube is among the leading six hitters in IPL 2024 with 28 big ones. He has single-handedly won CSK games and the selectors are hoping for similar things from the Mumbai man. Yes, he can also roll his arm over, if needed.


Why 4 spinners? India's bowling attack looks a little off-balance. What's the need for four spinners in the side? Will Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid be brave enough to play 2 wrist-spinners in the XI? With Kuldeep ahead in the pecking order, Chahal might have to warm the benches, more often than not. If India have the luxury of playing 3 spinners, they are likely to opt for Kuldeep, Axar and Jadeja as the two all-rounders also add depth to the batting unit. Rohit loves that extra batting cushion and Chahal is unlikely to get a lot of gigs in the USA and the Caribbean.

Why only 3 pacers? India have taken the risk of opting for only three frontline pacers. Only Bumrah is in form among the three. Given Hardik's bowling form and Shivam Dube's lack of bowling opportunities at CSK, India might fall short on the pace department in the T20 World Cup.


Shocking Rinku Singh Snub: How can one not pick the KKR star? Pundits and fans were left in shock when Rinku's name was not in the first 15. The 25-year-old Uttar Pradesh batter was in sensational touch for India in T20Is before IPl 2024. His ability to bat at different gears and execute the finisher's role to perfection reminded fans of vintage MS Dhoni.

Rinku averages 89 in his nascent T20I career, having scored 356 runs at a staggering strike rate of 176. Never has Rinku fluffed an opportunity in the Indian blue. Yet, the young man was left out of the squad and named in the reserves.

According to PTI news agency, Rinku had to make way because of the much-debated Impact Player Rule which robbed the KKR star of enough batting opportunities in IPL 2024. Rinku faced only 82 deliveries across his first 8 innings in IPL 2024. He scored 123 runs in the said period with a strike rate of 150.

If the selectors were keen on not looking at IPL performances for the likes of Hardik Pandya, Mohammed Siraj and Arshdeep Singh, why a different yardstick for Rinku Singh?

Could they have not dropped an extra spinner to accommodate Rinku Singh in the 15?

The selectors have an opportunity to make amends as they make changes to the preliminary squad without any explanations until May 23. However, Ajit Agarkar and his team might opt against altering the final 15, considering the confidence of the players who have been picked in the initial lot.

Source: India Today

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