India T20 World Cup squad: will Rohit Sharma’s team be different from 2021?

For all the talk of a different approach under captain Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid, India’s batting line-up for the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia will be almost identical to that which seemingly sleepwalked through the 2021 T20 World Cup in UAE.

The difference from last year is mostly in the bowling staff, reinforced by the scramble to make up for the lack of the injured Ravindra Jadeja’s impressive all-around ability.

We take a look at some of the talking points after India announced a largely conservative squad on Monday.

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Rohit, Rahul and Virat again

Should he? Shouldn’t he? He will? did that win In the end, even as speculation swirled around him, there was never really a chance that India would travel to Australia without the second-highest T20I runner of all time.

He may not be captain anymore and this will never be his strongest format, but he is still Virat Kohli and always will be. Even if he had scored a goal in India’s last Asian Cup match against Afghanistan and not his 71st cap-century instead, he would still have been on a plane to Melbourne. We shouldn’t really be surprised, that’s how India works.

At the Asian Cup, it was Rohit who seemed to take the most risks against the new ball. Will this continue to be India’s approach in Australia? Kohli has said he got too desperate to hit the big shots early but has now returned to his preferred method of finding the gaps. If Kohli is the innings builder at number 3, that means Rahul needs to get busier. He has only recently returned from surgery and illness but has six more games against Australia and South Africa ahead of the T20 World Cup to build more rhythm.

While the top order remains the same, thanks to team management, India’s top three have the highest batting rate and highest average among the 12 Test nations in T20Is since the 2021 World Cup. But that doesn’t matter if they don’t convert that into a win in Australia can implement, because public opinion is in favor of a change in personnel in the top 3.

SKY out of position?

Suryakumar Yadav’s game, even in top-flight cricket, is based on taking certain risks that may seem foolhardy to those of us watching but are perfectly reasonable odds for him. Such a batter – and not a finisher – is best used in T20 when there are more overs left than fewer, and when he also has the cushion of more wickets to follow if he falls early, which is always around the corner , considering how he hits .

But with India’s top order already full, Suryakumar won’t start before two defeats, one position down from where he enjoyed sustained success for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League. If that slowed the pace of this brilliant T20 batter it would be a massive wasted opportunity, but that may be the price to pay for India’s refusal to miss one of their big names.

Pant’s narrowing window

The three big batters up front also pretty much shut Rishabh Pant out of the opener slot unless India pulls up a last-minute upset like they did with Ishan Kishan in the 2021 edition. In the middle tier, the timeless Dinesh Karthik Pant sits at the back of the neck. With Rohit preferring to play with three specialized searns, a spinner and two all-around options, there might even be room for just a wicketkeeper and Pant’s recent batting form has not been encouraging at all. Scratchy pants under pressure is not what India wants on the world stage.

Fill the Jadeja-Big Hole

How many players does it take to replace Ravindra Jadeja? Two? Three? India have brought in Axar Patel as what appears to be an equal replacement, but there’s no way he’ll be as high up the rankings as Jadeja often is. India has looked to bolster all-around presence with the addition of Deepak Hooda, but his off-spin is strictly part-time and he has only played 12 T20Is so far. Is Jadeja’s absence also a reason why India chose R Ashwin over Ravi Bishnoi to have more experience and more batting opportunities?

Again, Rohit and Dravid have erred on the side of experience when it comes to the spin bowlers; The UAE 2021 disaster is not forgotten – Rahul Chahar and Varun Chakaravarthy have not played for India since. Yuzvendra Chahal has taken his rightful place as lead spinner after shockingly missing out on 2021.

Bumrah and the others

Bhuvneshwar Kumar has enjoyed a spectacular bounce and Deepak Chahar’s lengthy injury layoff has forced him into reserve. Harshal Patel made his debut for India right after the 2021 T20 World Cup and has developed well since then. Arshdeep Singh’s death bowling control and left arm angle catapulted him into the roster after only debuting in July.

With Jasprit Bumrah close by, India appear to have the slog-overs covered but on the power play they’re heavily reliant on Bhuvneshwar to get the new ball swinging. And with the exception of Bumrah, they have none capable of making thugs go wrong; The exciting Kashmiri tearaway Umran Malik was tried and found too raw for now. Pakistan once again showed the importance of speed in this format at the Asian Cup. And on Australian wickets truer than UAE surfaces, India’s mid-paced players could become a liability.

In addition, the suitability of almost the entire speed attack is questionable. Bumrah and Harshal are returning from injuries and Arshdeep and Bhuvneshwar have been asked to report to the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru for “conditioning related work”. That makes it likely that a replacement will be needed at some point during the tournament and India have once again opted for Mohammed Shami’s experience as a reinforcement. Bear in mind that Shami has not played a single T20I since the 2021 World Cup and has not played cricket at all in the past two months. On the brighter side, if Shami were drafted they would at least have a little more momentum off the field.

conservatism through and through

Even the choice of Shreyas Iyer as the reserve batter reflects the conservatism in India’s thinking. Long overtaken by Suryakumar Yadav, he has limited scoring chances, a clear problem with short balls and is unlikely to top the batting averages charts anyway. Someone who takes more risks and can score quicker like Sanju Samson or Rahul Tripathi could have been picked. But the guiding principle seems to have been the number of games someone has under their belt, not how explosive they can be.

India’s squad for the 2022 ICC T20 World Cup

Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (Vice-Captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar , Harshal Patel, Arshdeep Singh

Standby Players: Mohammed Shami, Shreyas Iyer, Ravi Bishnoi, Deepak Chahar

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