The Indian selectors recently announced a 15 member squad for the T20 World Cup that takes place in India and they decided to stick with the usual core squad that has featured regularly in T20 matches for India and did not experiment with any new names.
The biggest talking point in the squad selection revolved around the inclusion of pace bowler Mohammed Shami who has been out of action for a long period of time due to recurring injuries. Shami hasn’t played regularly for India after the 2015 World Cup and was selected based on his past performances and the fact that the skipper MS Dhoni has a lot of faith in his abilities.
Shami was selected recently for the tour down under but had to drop out because he got injured yet again and his place was taken by B Kumar. The new 15 member squad will be captained by MS Dhoni and V Kohli will act as his deputy. Other members of the squad include Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Hardik Pandya, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ashish Nehra, Mohammed Shami, Harbhajan Singh, Pawan Negi and Jasprit Bumrah.
The only other player that might have raised a few eyebrows is Pawan Negi who hasn’t really played a lot of T20 cricket for India. He has performed well in the IPL for the Chennai Super Kings, a franchise that was captained by MS Dhoni. Negi is a left arm spinner and is known to be a big hitter down the order. Although he is a part of the 15 member squad, it is difficult to see Dhoni will fit him into the playing eleven.
Ajinkya Rahane will also find it hard to fit into the middle-order as he has been opening for India in the shorter format of the game but considering the form of S Dhawan and R Sharma, he will most likely be on the sidelines or be given a chance if Dhawan has a poor run.
The players who missed out were B Kumar and M Pandey as they were part of the squad when India toured down under. There were some cricketing pundits who thought the selectors might experiment with the likes of Irfan Pathan, Sanju Samson and K Nair but the 15 member squad appears to have a strong MS Dhoni influence to it.