BCCI announced the 15-member squad for the forthcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia. Harshal Patel and Jasprit Bumrah are available for the tournament. However, India will miss Ravindra Jadeja, who recently underwent a knife to fix his knee injury. Rohit Sharma and his men had a disappointing end to the recently concluded Asia Cup 2022, where the opponents exposed the Indian side’s weaknesses. Fearing the same for the upcoming World Cup, fans and experts are not considering India as the favourites for the tournament. However, India are a top contender to lift their 2nd T20 World Cup. The article will focus on the four reasons why the Rohit Sharma-led side can win the global event.
In-form Virat Kohli
One of the biggest positives for India from the Asia Cup was to see Virat Kohli get back among the runs. The former India skipper amassed 276 runs, which included two half-centuries and an all-important 71st international century against Afghanistan. Going into the World Cup, Virat would be free of any insecurity about his spot in the team compared to how it was under scrutiny a few series ago. The pressure of scoring his 71st century is also off his shoulders, allowing him to play freely. Another big plus for India is Virat knows how to anchor the innings till the end. He did it against Pakistan in the Asia Cup, and the same is expected in the World Cup.
Return of Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel
Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel have been declared fit. The Indian side missed the duo in the Asia Cup, especially during the death overs. Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting had pointed out that a player of Bumrah’s calibre would be difficult to stop on Australian pitches. The team which lacked wicket-taking options in the Asia Cup has one of the best bowling line-ups after the return of genuine wicket-takers. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah at the start, while spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and Hardik Pandya will make things tough for the opponents in the middle overs.
India’s track record at Australia in T20Is
The Men in Blue have had an impressive track record on Australian pitches in T20Is. India defeated the Kangaroos in Australia in the 2020-21 and 2015-2016 T20I series. Further, they drew the 2018-2019 T20I series in Australia. This would be a big morale booster for the team as Rohit and Virat, who are well versed with the conditions, would look to unleash themselves.
A perfect blend of youth and experience
One thing the Indian team achieved under the Rahul Dravid era is to build a solid bench depth. A transition is the most challenging phase for any team. Countries like Australia also had a bad run when their team was undergoing transition. The current Indian side have new faces in the form of Arshdeep Singh and Ravi Bishnoi. At the same time, players like Dinesh Karthik and Rohit Sharma, who are 35 plus, are there to create a perfect mix in the team. While many might counter that this blend of players cost India the Asia Cup: it must be noted that young talents who are new to the international scheme would only gain from such high-pressure matches. Arshdeep, who had a dismal Asia Cup, would come more prepared for the World Cup.
Here is the squad for the forthcoming World Cup
Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya, R. Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Arshdeep Singh.
Standby players – Mohammed Shami, Shreyas Iyer, Ravi Bishnoi, Deepak Chahar.