India’s T-20 WC Squad: Astonishing Inclusions & Exclusions

The ICC Men’s T-20 World Cup is about to start from October 17th in UAE and Oman. This must have come as a big relief not only for the ICC but also for fans as the slam-bang version of cricket faced a year-long delay and an uncertainty due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As for India, this is a defining tournament as the cricketing superpower has not won a major ICC title since 2013. For the last 8 years or so, the team has floundered mostly at the Semi Final stages, except for the final meltdown against the arch-rivals in the 2017 Champions Trophy. The team composition of India also suggests a do or die desperation to grab the trophy this time. There have been some surprise entries and inexplicable indifferences while finalising the squad. Hence, we will focus on the players who have boarded and missed the T-20 WC bus. 

Surprise Inclusions 

MS Dhoni (Team Mentor) 

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This has to be the mother of all surprises and it is nothing more than a coup on the part of the BCCI to bring on board one of the most successful Indian captain to guide the side with his wide expertise for an event of this magnitude. Post retirement, Dhoni was leading a quiet life in his native place, Jharkhand, and only occasionally getting into the cricket field for the IPL. This decision to bring in the veteran reeks of growing anxiety and restlessness over Team India’s prolonged barren run in major tournaments. Of course, there is nobody better than the ‘boy from Jharkhand’ to put an end to this long drought of coveted trophies as Dhoni has won all the major ICC titles for India during his stint as the captain of Team India. 

Ravi Ashwin 

Image Credits: Caught At Point

After being ignored for the short as well as shortest format for the last four years everyone started penning obituaries of Ashwin’s ODI and T-20 career. The offie last played a T-20 against West Indies in 2017 and since then the team management has been giving the present world no. 2 bowler a royal ignore. Hence, his inclusion has come across as totally unexpected at the expense of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzhvendra Chahal, the latter has been a constant in the T-20 squad for the last few years. This must have come as a big relief even for Ashwin following his exclusion from the Test series in England so far, the only format in which he has been a regular in the last few years. 

Ishan Kishan 

Image Credits: Times of India

The wicket-keeper batsman has had a dream run in the IPL for the Mumbai Indians thus far. Kishan has been on BCCI’s radar for a while but no one expected him to make into this year’s T-20 squad. The team already has a finely sorted out Rishabh Pant as the first-choice wicket keeper and KL Rahul as the alternative one in case of any injury-induced absence. So, the inclusion of the promising Mumbai wicket keeper batsman throws up several important questions, especially with regard to the career of a regular southpaw in the team. Everyone expected Kishan to break into the Indian team sooner or later but not for a critical tournament like this one. 

Surprise Exclusion 

Shikhar Dhawan 

The experienced left hander from Delhi has often been at the receiving end since Virat Kohli took over the mantle of leadership from Dhoni. Dhawan has been the perennial fall guy for the Team India following ignominious outings. After losing his place in the Test side in 2018, Dhawan’s future in the shortest format was also under the cloud with captain proclaiming his preference for KL Rahul in loud manners on several occasions. However, everyone expected the stylish Delhi batsmen to make the cut for the T-20 carnival in October this year given his experience, big-match temperament and red hot form in the IPL for the Delhi Capitals in the last two years. But the fact that Dhawan was ignored to accommodate a relatively fresh Ishan Kishan only proves that the Delhi batsman is no longer in the scheme of things of team management, at least in the T-20 mix. Now, only a miracle can revive his career in this format. 


Image Credits: News18

The duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzhvendra Chahal has featured regularly in ODI and T-20 since 2017. However, for the last one year or so the ‘Kul-Cha’ has never featured together due to Ravindra Jadeja’s multi-skilled abilities and Axar Patel’s meteoric rise as a handy all-rounder. Kuldeep was a forgotten man in the mix for some time now while Chahal always got the nod to showcase his guile in the T-20 matches. Considering the variety they bring to the table, Chahal’s wicket taking ability and Kuldeep’s prodigious turn, India should have had them as standbys, at least, for this year’s world cup. 

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