New Delhi: Mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy and Rahul Chahar, with his fast leg-breaks, will fight it out for the additional spinner’s slot when the selectors pick the Indian squad for next month’s ICC T20 World Cup in the coming couple of days. The Chetan Sharma-led selection committee will meet at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai within a couple of days. Then they will link up with with skipper Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri either Tuesday or Wednesday. Discussions will then take place for the formation of the team.
BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah (convenor of selection committee) are also expected to be a part of the meeting.
Most of the teams are announcing 15-member squads. However, the BCCI is expected to announce either an 18 or 20 member squad. This is because the ICC has decided to allow a squad strength of 30, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Earlier, the ICC used to allow 23 members per squad. The number however, is inclusive of the support staff.
Any team can have more than 30-member squads. However, the extra cost has to be taken care of by the country’s cricket board.
The Indian white ball team will have at least 13 to 15 members, who are automatic selections. However, there are a few spots for which there would be some discussions.
Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravindra Jadeja are two spinners who are all but sure of their slots. So it could well be a toss up between Chakravarthy, who has had good IPL runs and Rahul, who impressed in the recent tour of Sri Lanka.
Both Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul are both capable of donning the big gloves. Also Ishan Kishan, with some good performances for India in the recent tour of Sri Lanka, is in reckoning.
Hardik Pandya still may not be bowling his full quota of four overs. So Shardul Thakur might be included in the team after his new-found batting prowess. Suryakumar Yadav can be called a certainty while Shreyas Iyer will get his rightful place back in the squad.
For the extra opener’s slot after Rohit Sharma and Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, with good back-to-back IPLs, and an in-form Prithvi Shaw will be locking horns. But in case of a 20 member squad, both might get a look-in.
In the fast bowling department, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami (if fully fit) are automatic selections. However, Deepak Chahar and the red-hot Mohammed Siraj are also in contention.
Among left-arm pacers, Chetan Sakariya and T Natarajan are there. However, the latter has hardly played anything while the former may accompany the team as a net bowler.
The likely squad:
Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Buvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Deepak Chahar, Mohammed Shami and Shardul Thakur
Shikhar Dhawan/Prithvi Shaw
Ishan Kishan/Sanju Samson
Varun Chakravarthy/Rahul Chahar
Chetan Sakariya/T Natarajan
Cover for Ravindra Jadeja
Axar Patel/Krunal Pandya.