It’s just over a week since India announced their T20 squad for the 2021 edition of the World Cup. Of all the squad announcements of all the countries, it was perhaps the most surprising. Some would say controversial. Here’s what everyone is talking about. You’ll also find some T20 World Cup betting advice for team India with the best odds!
India T20 World Cup Squad: Major Talking Points of a Controversial 15-Man Team
India T20 World Cup Squad: Who Won’t be There?
Let’s go through the main men for the India team that, surprisingly, won’t be on that plane to UAE. These are surely going to impact the odds available for online cricket betting as we get closer to the world cup.
The Delhi man can feel incredibly hard-done-by. Last season in the IPL, played in the UAE no less, he was the second-highest run-scorer in the competition.
He got 618 runs, just 52 off winner KL Rahul, which included four fifties in 17 matches.
And not only did he also score two centuries but he became the first player in the history of the IPL to score them back-to-back.
And what a strike rate. At 144.73, it was the best of anyone in the Top 4.
This year he’s at it again, currently tied on 380 runs with…Rahul.
To make matters worse, he has an excellent record in ICC events (50 and 20-over World Cups) so this really is an even more bitter pill to swallow.
One can only imagine the Selectors have settled on Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul and don’t think there’s any point having Dhawan, as well.
If this World Cup had been played last year as it was meant to, Chahal would surely have been on the plane. He would also have been India’s first-choice spinner.
But a year is a long time in cricket, as Chahal has found out.
Like Dhawan, there wasn’t much wrong with his numbers in last year’s IPL.
With 21 wickets, he took almost twice as many as anyone else in the RCB side and he was in fact the fifth-highest wicket-taker in the whole tournament. His economy rate of 7.08 was very good indeed.
Maybe he’s paying the price for a poor start to the 2021 IPL season. He’s taken just five wickets in eight games and his economy rate is almost 1.5 runs an over higher than it was last year, at 8.52.
Then again, he hasn’t been at his best for India, either. There’s been the odd glimpse of brilliance but there have also been international batsmen who have really gotten after him.
The Selectors may also be thinking that his variations aren’t so novel anymore after so many years playing in the IPL, while the fact he doesn’t bat any higher than 10 doesn’t help his cause, either.
But it’s still a strange omission.
India T20 World Cup Squad: Who Will be There?
Up next: two additions to the Indian team that, in my opinion, don’t really make sense to include. I’ll go through exactly why the inclusion of these Indian world cup squad members has caused some controversy.
The veteran off-spinner may well have felt he’d played his last white-ball game for India.
He hasn’t played for his country in either ODIs or T20Is since July 2017 and with the emergence of Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, his chances weren’t looking good.
They looked even bleaker when just a few months ago, Virat Kohli said India were satisfied with Chahal, Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja as India’s specialist whiteball spinners and didn’t feel the need to bring back Ashwin.
Worse still, Ashwin, one of the world’s leading Test spinners, was left out of four Tests in a row over in England.
Some talked about conditions not being quite right for him as a factor.
But others suggested a rift between Kohli and Ashwin was at the heart of it all.
So it was all a huge surprise when Ashwin was named in the squad.
He had a decent season last year as Delhi made and lost the final. He took 13 wickets in 15 matches and went at 7.66 an over. His economy rate this season has actually gone up to 7.73 and he’s taken just one wicket in 19 overs bowled.
What have the Selectors all of a sudden seen in him?
The answer may be that they feel they can get at least two overs out of him in the Powerplay, something only Axar Patel can do from among the other spinners in the squad.
It may also be that Kohli (if there is a rift at all) is actually ready to have him as part of his senior players think-tank and trust his opinions on the field. After all, this is Kohli’s last T20 WC as skipper, so he may as well do everything he can to try to win it.
The fact that he can also bat (five Test centuries, seven First Class centuries) is another reason why he’s on that plane.
In last year’s IPL, he ended up on 516 runs to finish as the season’s fifth-highest scorer. And by the way, he played 14 matches while others played the full 17.
He got out for 99 and struck four fifties along the way, either opening the batting or coming in at 4 or 5.
He then made his debut in the T20 Series against England in March, scoring 56 in one of the three games he played, with a combined strike rate of 145.
But he’s found things tough in the IPL this year. Very tough indeed. He’s got just 84 runs from six innings at an average of 14. The confidence and swagger has gone.
But India know how devastating he can be on his day with the bat.
Rather like a Rishabh Pant or Glenn Maxwell, he’ll think nothing of trying to hit the first ball he faces for six.
If India find that early on the likes of Rahul, Sharma or even Kohli aren’t scoring quickly enough at the top of the order, they may call for Kishan.
He certainly wouldn’t make the first XI if the World Cup was starting tomorrow but he may yet get a go at some stage.
There are two more feathers in his cap
The first is that he can bat anywhere between 1 and 5, the second is that he can keep wicket.
So if anything happens to Pant, they can bring him in to wear the gloves and let KL Rahul just focus on his batting.
India are currently the 3.45 favourites to win the World Cup with 10CRIC.