Indian cricket has perhaps never faced the problem of plenty until recent times when it comes to selecting a team for a tournament or series. Thinking as far back as the mind wanders, there have been a handful of seriously talented cricketers to choose from and then others on the fringes.
Which is why the task facing India’s cricket selectors to name the squad for the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman is so startling. Because never before has Indian cricket had as wide a talent pool to choose from comprising players with international experience. In 2007, when the first T20 World Cup was held in South Africa, the BCCI viewed T20 cricket with skepticism. Today, 14 seasons into the richest T20 league in the world, the Indian Premier League, India have a rich depth of cricketers to select for the World Cup next month.
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In the current scenario, there are around 35 players who might get a chance of being named in India’s T20 World Cup squad.
Just looking at the openers’ slots, we have options in Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill, Devdutt Padikkal, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal. For the middle order, we have Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav and Manish Pandey. For the wicketkeeping duties, there are Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson and Ishan Kishan.
The allrounders’ quotient comprises Hardik and Krunal Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel, K Gowtham and Vijay Shankar.
Now have a look at the pace bowlers in the mix: Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Deepak Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T Natarajan, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini and Prasidh Krishna. How’s that for variety and competition?
And then come the specialist spin options in Rahul Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav and Varun Chakravarthy.
All the above mentioned players have a chance to be named in India’s squad for the T20 World Cup. It cannot be an easy task facing the BCCI selectors.