T20 World Cup 2022: India’s Best Possible Squad of 15

The ICC T20 World Cup will be hosted down under in October-November 2022. In this article, I have named 15 players who I think should be in India’s squad for the T20 World Cup.

Though the ICC event is a long way off, the recent home series versus South Africa was an eye-opener. It laid bare the claims of some players while pointing to some omissions by the BCCI.

In my view, the following 15 players should be in India’s squad for the T20 World Cup.

  • Ishan Kishan
  • Rohit Sharma
  • KL Rahul
  • Virat Kohli
  • Rishabh Pant
  • Sanju Samson
  • Suryakumar Yadav
  • Axar Patel
  • Yuzvendra Chahal
  • Dinesh Karthik
  • Hardik Pandya
  • Harshal Patel
  • Bhuvneshwar Kumar
  • Md Shami
  • Jasprit Bumrah

As you can see, my preferred 15-member squad comprises three opening batsmen, two spinners, and four new ball operators. There are also five middle order batsmen and one batting all-rounder.

T20 World Cup

Players Omitted after the South Africa Series

Shreyas Iyer is arguably my most glaring omission from the squad that did duty against the visiting South Africans. Iyer is a technically sound batsman likely to serve India in test cricket and ODIs in the foreseeable future. However, his inability to hit boundaries against the fast bowlers was all too obvious in the recently concluded series versus the Proteas. Another batsman who failed to grab the opportunities is Ruturaj Gaikwad.

With Shami and Bumrah set to return, I have also omitted Avesh Khan from the squad. It was a tough decision deciding between Khan and Harshal Patel, but I settled on Patel for his greater consistency.

Players Added After the South Africa Series

Sanju Samson is a player who should feature in the India squad for the world cup as a back up middle order batsman. With players like Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav likely to return to national duty, Samson may not get to play every game.

However, on the hard Australian wickets where the ball comes onto the bat, Samson could prove an invaluable asset. Opening batsmen Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul will also be back.

The Best Indian Eleven from the Above Squad

Of the 15 players named by me, I believe that the following eleven will form the best combination:

  • Rohit Sharma
  • Ishan Kishan
  • KL Rahul
  • Virat Kohli
  • Suryakumar Yadav
  • Hardik Pandya
  • Dinesh Karthik
  • Bhuvneshwar Kumar
  • Jasprit Bumrah
  • Yuzvendra Chahal
  • Md Shami

Are there any surprises? I had to make a tough choice between Ishan Kishan and Dinesh Karthik. Ishan’s consistent good form at the top of the order swayed my judgement. I believe the young man should continue to open the innings while allowing Rahul to go down the order.

Also, with Hardik Pandya back to his best, we have one of the world’s best finishers. To accommodate Karthik, I would drop Rishabh Pant. The alternative is to drop Suryakumar Yadav, which is a tougher decision to have to make. However, Pant is unlikely to be dropped, as the left-hander has coach Rahul Dravid’s backing.

Can This Team Have Better Balance?

One possible area where this team lacks balance is in the number of spinners available. Though Australian wickets are conducive to pace, India may choose to play both spinners. In the event of either Axar Patel or Chahal suffering an injury, the team would feel the absence of a third spin option.

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