ICC T20 World Cup 2022 will be played in October in Australia. After losing badly in the T20 World Cup 2021, India will look to make an emphatic return by lifting the trophy after 15 years. Currently, the Indian team is experimenting with the combinations they would like to field in the playing eleven at the World Cup. The recently concluded Indian Premier League has opened up a plethora of options for the selectors. Sanju Samson and Rahul Tripathi have finally been acknowledged by the BCCI selectors and included in the squad against Ireland.
A lot will depend on the upcoming T20i matches that India will play before the World Cup. It will become a key in determining the players who will represent the nation at the World Cup. The Indian coach Rahul Dravid had stated that he would like to field the team that he would want India to represent in the World Cup as early as August. Here, we have listed the 16 probable players for the Indian squad at the T20i World Cup 2022.
1- Rohit Sharma
The Indian captain will definitely be in the squad as his leadership abilities are required for India to stand a chance at winning the World Cup. Rohit Sharma failed to live up to the expectations in the Indian Premier League. He registered only 264 runs at an unimpressive average of 19.14 and a modest strike rate of 120.17. The Indian team and fans are hoping that he finds his mojo back before the World Cup.
Reason for selection: Rohit Sharma is the captain of the Indian team, which makes his selection in the squad a no-brainer.
2- Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli, one of the most decorated cricketers in the world, is currently going through a rough patch. He had a forgettable IPL season. The former Indian skipper registered only two half-centuries in the tournament. He scored 341 runs at an average of 22.73 and a slow strike rate of 115.98. Kohli will have the opportunity to come back to the form against England and West Indies before the World Cup.
Reason for selection: The experience and aura of Virat Kohli in world cricket make him an irrefutable choice for the number three position in the Indian team.
3- KL Rahul
KL Rahul was named Indian captain for the T20i series against South Africa before an injury made him skip the series. He is the first choice to partner with Rohit Sharma at the top in the World Cup, which is scheduled to be played in October. KL Rahul was the second-highest run-getter in the IPL 2022. He amassed 616 runs at a staggering average of 51.33 and a strike rate of 135.58. He is expected to make his comeback once his injury heals.
Reason for selection: A great IPL season and his ability to accelerate makes him the top choice for sharing the opening slot with Rohit Sharma.
4- Ishan Kishan
Ishan Kishan can be the perfect backup opener for Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul at the World Cup. The left-handed opener will also bring a variety to the Indian batting line-up, which is studded with right-handers. Kishan did not fare well at the IPL but returned to form in the T20i series against South Africa. He gave India team quick starts and notched up two half-centuries in the series.
Reason for selection: The in-form left-handed opener needs to be included in the squad to secure a safe cover for KL Rahul, who is currently battling injuries. Because of series against South Africa he has given himself a great chance to be in the probable squad for upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia.
5- Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson has still not realised his immense potential in international cricket. He has been given very limited chances in the Indian team, and unfortunately, he has failed to mark his presence at the international level with those opportunities. However, Samson is selected to represent India against Ireland in the T20i series. He has all the shots and can prove to be India’s ace on Australia’s bouncy and tacky pitches.
Reason for selection: Though there is a very minor chance of his selection but we all know Sanju Samson is an x-factor player who can quickly turn around a game on the bouncy pitches in Australia.
6- Dinesh Karthik
Dinesh Karthik has reinvented himself in the last IPL season. He stole everyone’s attention at the tournament by playing crisp and impactful knocks as a finisher for Royal Challengers Bangalore. He replicated the same success against South Africa by becoming the oldest Indian batter to score a half-century in T20i cricket. Karthik made 330 runs in 16 innings at a massive strike rate of 183.33.
Reason for selection: India requires a finisher who can attack from the get-go, and Karthik can do that at the moment.
7- Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant captained the Indian team against South Africa in the absence of senior players. It shows how much the Indian selectors and management believe in the capabilities of this youngster. Pant did not have a great series with the bat, and he also had a lacklustre IPL. However, he is still expected to find a place in the Indian squad for the T20i World Cup.
Reason for selection: Pant is a game-changer and can be used as a pinch-hitter by the Indian team by slotting him at the 4th position in the batting order.
8- Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya has made a huge comeback to the cricketing world after being sidelined for a long time due to injuries. He captained the Gujarat Titans in IPL and went on to win the trophy with his team. He had a great tournament with the bat. Pandya scored 487 runs in 15 innings at the tournament. The IPL-winning captain picked 3 wickets in the final to showcase his all-around ability as a player. In the series against South Africa, Pandya was a force to be reckoned with. His valuable contributions in the death overs are what India will expect from him at the World Cup.
Reason for selection: Pandya is the only premium Indian all-rounder who can bat and ball pace deliveries.
9- Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja is one of India’s most valuable all-rounders. The left-hander has reinvented his hitting ability in the shortest format of the game in the past couple of years. Jadeja had an underwhelming IPL season where he was bogged down by the weight of captaining Chennai Super Kings. He left the tournament midway due to an injury and has not played any cricket since then. However, he is expected to mark his return to the Indian team in T20is against England. He can be a crucial spinning option, providing a few handy runs for India at the World Cup.
Reason for selection: The ability to bat left-handed and bowl as the leading spinner for the side makes him an indispensable asset.
10- Suryakumar Yadav
The explosive middle-order batter played only 8 matches for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2022 due to the injuries. However, he made his presence felt in the 8 innings by scoring 303 runs at a healthy strike rate of 145.67 and a staggering average of 43.29. Yadav has been a revelation for India in T20is. He performed exceptionally as a finisher against West Indies and Sri Lanka in T20is for India before IPL 2022. He is making his return to the India squad against Ireland.
Reason for selection: 360-degree gameplay and the ability to carry an inning make him the perfect backup player for Virat Kohli.
11- Harshal Patel
Harshal Patel is definitely going to be in the Indian squad for the T20i World Cup. The right-arm medium-pace bowler is an excellent option for death bowling. He picked 19 wickets in 15 games in IPL 2022 while giving away runs at an astonishing economy of 7.66. Patel has emerged as a death-over specialist with his deceptive slower balls and pinpoint yorkers. Against South Africa, he dismissed the dangerous David Miller twice in two consecutive games to contribute to the Indian victory.
Reason for selection: Death over specialist who can also swing around his bat in the time of need. Harshal initially started as a pure all-rounder in cricket.
12- Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah is India’s best bowler in all three formats of the game. His record speaks for itself. The uncanny pacer has represented India in 57 T20is and picked up 67 wickets with a handsome economy of 6.50. He is widely considered the most difficult bowler to face in the shortest format of the game. Bumrah is the backbone of the Indian bowling line-up, and it is much more impossible to imagine an Indian team at the T20i World Cup without him than veterans Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.
Reason for selection: He is the best Indian fast bowler, and his uncanny bowling action paired with his accuracy is a deadly combination.
13- Bhuvneshwar Kumar
The veteran swing bowler who has lost a bit of pace but can still do wonders with his variations is one of the favourites to form a bowling pair with Bumrah at the World Cup. Bhuvneshwar recently won the player of the series award against South Africa for picking up 6 wickets and bowling with an impressive economy. The Indian team can use his quota of the overs at both the front and back end of the innings due to his ability to perform well in both phases of the matches.
Reason for selection: Bhuvneshwar is India’s most experienced bowler who still has a lot to offer, as proved by his performance against South Africa.
14- Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal replied to his critics in style by winning the purple cap at IPL 2022. He picked up 27 wickets at an average of 19.51 in 17 matches. His economy was also extraordinary as he gave away runs at only 7.75. Chahal was selected over Ravi Bishnoi in all four T20is that India played against South Africa. He picked 6 wickets in the series and was awarded player of the match in the third T20i.
Reason for selection: Yuzvendra Chahal is a smart bowler who can think on his feet, making him a valuable option in Australia, where pitches will not suit the spinners.
15- Umran Malik
The young sensation from Kashmir has become the talk of the town due to his ability to bowl regularly at the pace of 150km/ph. Umran Malik shocked everyone in IPL 2022 by becoming the only third Indian uncapped bowler in IPL history to take a fifer. Cricket experts have been demanding his inclusion in the Indian squad for the T20i World Cup. Malik is included in the squad that will play against Ireland.
Reason for selection: Umran Malik can be India’s wildcard at the upcoming T20i World Cup due to his fiery pace.
16- Avesh Khan
Since the T20i World Cup is taking place in Australia, the Indian team will pick more fast bowlers than spinners in the squad. Avesh Khan took four wickets in the fourth T20i match against South Africa. He can continuously bowl at a speed of more than 140km/ph. His accuracy is a plus point which can help India pile pressure on the opponents in the T20i World Cup.
Reason for selection: Pace with accuracy is one of the critical factors that work in favour of Avesh Khan.