The International Cricket Council has decided to give one extra week for Super 12 teams to make required changes in their final squad of the ICC T20 World Cup scheduled to take place later this month in UAE and Oman. For the Round-1 teams, the deadline for changing squad (without injury) ends on October 10, at midnight (Dubai time). This means that BCCI can make the required changes to the squad after the end of IPL 2021.
Many star players like Shreyas Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal and Shikhar Dhawan have performed exceptionally well in the IPL’s UAE leg and can be expected to make a comeback into the side while players like Hardika Pandya and Rahul Chahar who failed to impress can miss the bus to UAE.
It is still not sure whether Hardik, who has bowled sporadically since he suffered a stress fracture in his back two years ago, will bowl full tilt at winner-takes-it-all event or will only concentrate on batting.
“Indian team is at least one fast bowler short in the main squad of 15. They have two experienced campaigners in Shardul Thakur, who is also a handy bowling all-rounder and Deepak Chahar, who has shown his batting prowess in Sri Lanka in the stand byes.
“So in case Hardik is not able to bowl, one of the two can be fitted in by the Committee,” a senior BCCI source told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
Recently, Mumbai Indians’ IPL campaign suffered as they couldn’t find that balance in the middle-order with Hardik not bowling even a single over.
In fact, MI skipper Rohit Sharma didn’t put a timeline on when Hardik would be able to bowl.
“In terms of his (Hardik) bowling, the physios, trainers are working. He hasn’t bowled a single ball yet. We wanted to take one match at a time and see where he stands,” Rohit said after MI’s last IPL game.
“He is getting better day by day. In the next week or so, he might be able to bowl, who knows? Only the doctors and physios will be able to give an update on that,” Rohit had added.
Till October 15, if selectors feel that Hardik’s utility is less than half, Deepak or Shardul have a good enough chance of making it but it seems curtains for Yuzvendra Chahal as far as this tournament is concerned.
“The only option is if Varun Chakravarthy, who has dodgy knees, is ruled out by Indian team’s support staff then Yuzi can get in.
Selectors can pick him among stand byes so that if Chakravarthy’s fitness becomes a concern, he can be drafted.”
Umran Malik is already there in the India bio-bubble as a net bowler. It will be interesting to see if Shivam Mavi is considered a net bowler.
Will there be any changes to India’s squad?
- The selectors have decided against making any changes at the last moment despite calls for dropping Rahul Chahar.
- Yuzvendra Chahal is likely to be with the squad in UAE as an injury cover.
- Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav’s return to form has come as a great relief as their selection had raised questions with their dwindling form.
- Shreyas Iyer will miss out if there is no late injury scare in Team India.
- Varun Chakaravarthy is being monitored by BCCI medical team. If he is declared unfit, Yuzvendra Chahal will be slotted in. The Tamil Nadu and KKR spinner is undergoing a knee problem.
- Hardik Pandya’s situation to is being monitored but he will keep his place in the squad.
- He is expected to join Team India’s camp in Dubai in a day or two and BCCI medical team will take over his fitness regime.
India Squad T20 WC: Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma (VC), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohd Shami.
Standby players: Shreyas Iyer, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar