India start off a run of 14 T20s until the T20 World Cup with the series against Bangladesh on November 3. The regular skipper, Virat Kohli, has been rested, Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah are recovering from back injuries.
While most players are assured of their places in the squad, some others need to be at the top of their game to be considered an automatic selection to the starting XI. We take a look at some of those names:
With Virat Kohli rested, the no.3 spot in the batting line-up is vacant. Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul are the likely candidates to play in that position. Both are very well-suited to the role, considering their batting style.
While KL Rahul’s T20 record has been exceptional, Shreyas is yet to nail down a place in the T20 side. A lot of it is down to the fact that he is not given a consistent spot in the line-up, and this series might be the perfect opportunity for him to show his prowess in the middle-order.
If he performs well in the middle-order, the selectors might finally be tempted to send Rishabh Pant down the order, where his attacking approach will pay off big time.
Yet again, an Indian wicket-keeper has become one of the most talked about names in the country. Rishabh Pant, all of 22 years old, has already made a ‘comeback’ to the Indian side.
After facing some public criticism from coach Ravi Shastri, Pant was dropped from the Test side for the South Africa series, making only a substitute appearance for a brief while when Saha walked off injured.
He has been publicly backed as India’s wicket-keeper going forward but with the T20 World Cup looming, he will want to perform consistently with the bat, considering Dinesh Karthik is lying in wait to take up his spot.
The older Pandya brother has become a T20 regular for India in the past year. His all-round skills make him a great pick for any T20 side and the fact that he comes way down the order at no.8 gives India enough of a cushion.
While his bowling has been decent, Krunal’s exploits with the bat leave a lot to be desired. Batting at no.8 is not easy but he has to adapt his game to walk in and start firing straightaway.
He has proved his batting skills in the Indian T20 league in the past, and India will be hoping he replicates that form in international cricket.
Yuzvendra Chahal played the ODI World Cup earlier this year and performed decently in India’s run to the semi-finals. However, he was dropped from the side post that, not being picked for the West Indies and South Africa series.
Chahal has come back now for the Bangladesh series, with the selectors wanting to try out all spin options for the one vacant spot in the side.
Wrist spinners’ stock has gone down in the past year and Chahal will have to perform exceptionally to be picked as the starting spinner in the T20 World Cup squad.
Featured image courtesy: AFP/ Dibyangshu Sarkar