Bona fide ‘passengers’, no-brainers and ‘Agar from Wish’: A candid look at India’s perplexing T20 WC squad


India have announced their 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup squad which is set to be played in the USA and Caribbean. The 15-man squad and travelling reserves have been named, with plenty of shocks and surprises in the squad. Here is a breakdown of each squad member.

Rohit Sharma (captain)

How Rohit Sharma continues to play T20 internationals for India is mind-boggling, let alone as the captain. The Indian skipper has not scored over 200 runs in a single edition of the T20 World Cup. Add in his inability to score runs against top teams in T20 World Cups since smashing a half-century against Australia in 2010, and India start their campaign with a passenger as their skipper.

Rohit Sharma. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Yashasvi Jaiswal

Jaiswal has impressed in his T20I career so far, scoring 502 runs at a strike rate of over 160. A well deserved selection to open the batting for India.

Virat Kohli

No matter what Virat Kohli does in the IPL or bilateral T20I series, he is always the first man on India’s T20 World Cup list. And rightfully so. After all, Kohli has carried India’s T20 WC batting lineup with match-winning knocks while the rest of the lineup has usually let India down. And once again, it’ll be up to the 35-year-old to bear the brunt of the responsibility with the bat in the US and Caribbean.

Suryakumar Yadav

The man dubbed SKY has started a T20 revolution in India. However, he has struggled to make an impact in the T20 WC against top-tier teams. SKY is an outstanding player of spin and on low and slow wickets, this could be the World Cup where he gets going and gives Kohli and India the support they need with the bat.

Rishabh Pant

While it is a feel-good story to have Rishabh Pant back playing cricket, his selection into the Indian T20 squad is questionable. Pant has a terrible T20I record, averaging below 23 at a strike rate a tad over 126. Was it right to take out Jitesh Sharma who was starting to show glimpses of his skills as a finisher at a SR of 147? Absolutely not. A terrible selection where India needs a finisher, not another middle order batter who struggles to score quickly in T20 internationals.

????India’s squad for ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 announced ????

Let’s get ready to cheer for #TeamIndia #T20WorldCup

— BCCI (@BCCI) April 30, 2024

Hardik Pandya

Hardik Pandya has struggled for rhythm ever since his injury against Bangladesh in the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup. However, the Mumbai Indians skipper has a knack for turning up for India with bat and ball in big tournaments. Can Pandya step up and have a nation that has booed him (including his own IPL fanbase) cheer for him now? India desperately needs him to do so. Only time will tell.

Ravindra Jadeja

Another questionable selection in the India squad. Jadeja made his T20I debut in February 2009 and boasts a strike rate of 125 with the bat. How is he still being considered, especially when his T20 WC strike rate after playing six editions is below 100 with the bat? Nothing less of an Ashton Agar from Wish in white ball cricket, Jadeja will be in the Indian XI in the name of batting depth and score an impressive five off six batting in the death overs. Or he’ll get out prodding forward to an off-spinner.

????️????️ One thing we really looked at was our middle-overs hitting. #TeamIndia Captain Rohit Sharma on the batting options and combinations for the #T20WorldCup@ImRo45

— BCCI (@BCCI) May 2, 2024

Axar Patel

Patel has had a decent T20I career for India, going at a strike rate over 140 with the bat while being tight with the ball. Despite struggling in the 2022 T20 WC, India have backed him expecting slow wickets in the Caribbean. Patel gets a rare second chance to prove himself in the T20 WC arena, and he’ll be desperate to redeem himself.

Kuldeep Yadav

Yadav has been close to unplayable in T20 cricket, averaging under 15 with the ball while going at an economy of 6.74. Add in his improvement with the bat, and India have their X factor in the form of their chinaman spinner.

Jasprit Bumrah

Do I need to say anything about Bumrah’s inclusion in the squad? Didn’t think so.

Jasprit Bumrah. (Photo by Surjeet Yadav-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

Arshdeep Singh

The only reason for Singh to be in the World Cup squad is due to his ability to swing the new ball. However, the left-arm seamer has struggled for form for quite some time, both at franchise and international level. Can Singh replicate his 2023/24 Syed Mushtaq Ali form, where he took ten wickets at an economy of 7.59 en route to Punjab winning the state T20 tournament? India will desperately hope so.

Mohammed Siraj

Siraj has not played many T20I games for India, but he’s been class since his recall into the India T20 team post-2022 T20 WC. Siraj and Singh will fight for the second frontline seamer spot, and it may just go Siraj’s way having improved as a T20 bowler over the past few years.

Sanju Samson

Sanju Samson has been inconsistent for India, but he definitely is not the type of player to waste balls and go at a snail’s pace. Samson will go hard from ball one and will compete with Pant for the wicketkeeper spot. With the IPL still going on, the Rajasthan Royals captain will be hoping he can lead his franchise to IPL glory and become India’s wicketkeeper in the World Cup.

The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Anthem from @duttypaul & @Kestheband is here – and it’s Out Of This World! ???? ????

See if you can spot some of their friends joining the party @usainbolt, @stafanie07, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, @henrygayle ????#T20WorldCup | #OutOfThisWorld

— T20 World Cup (@T20WorldCup) May 2, 2024

Shivam Dube

Dube has had success for Chennai Super Kings, but a lack of footwork and a terrible technique against the short ball has seen the Mumbai all-rounder not have much success for India in international cricket bar a few knocks against a depleted Afghanistan attack. While pitches may be slow during the T20 WC, the extra bounce will most likely be Dube’s undoing should he get any games.

Yuzvendra Chahal

Once again, a selection that does not make sense at all for India. Chahal goes at an economy of over 8.3 in T20 internationals, while not offering much with bat or in the field. With three spinners in the squad, does India need another spinner in the squad? Absolutely not. There would not have been any problem had Chahal been a travelling reserve for India while a proven finisher in Rinku Singh was in the 15-man squad.

Personal verdict

India will struggle badly in this World Cup. They should get through the first round. However, once the competition gets tighter, India will be severely exposed with the amount of passengers they have in their T20 World Cup squad, starting with the skipper. Expect a tournament to go as badly for Indians as the 2010 T20 World Cup edition.

India squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya (vc), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj

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Reserves: Shubman Gill, Rinku Singh, Khaleel Ahmed and Avesh Khan

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