T20 World Cup 2022: Earlier in January, the ICC confirmed the schedule of the men’s 2022 T20 World Cup, to be hosted by Australia in October-November. India’s opening encounter will be against arch-rivals Pakistan at the iconic MCG.
After a disappointing campaign at the 2021 edition of the tournament n the UAE, where they failed to reach the semi-finals, the Indian team have had a brilliant time in the home T20I matches, clean sweeping New Zealand, West Indies and Sri Lanka, as the new captain, Rohit Sharma, with the new management under Rahul Dravid build a strong team for the T20 World Cup 2022. They have tried and tested a number of players for different roles in the build-up to the tournament.
One man that has been missing from cricket since the last year’s T20 World Cup has been Hardik Pandya, who is learned to have been recovering from his back injury issues that have rendered him unfit to bowl even four overs in T20 cricket and hence hasn’t played any cricket since the T20 World Cup last year.
Former Indian batsman Aakash Chopra, though, believes that Pandya will be fit and firing by the time of the T20 World Cup 2022, later this year. Before that, Hardik will be seen leading the Gujarat Titans team in the IPL 2022. He included Pandya in his T20 World Cup 2022 squad along with the in-form Venkatesh Iyer and Ravindra Jadeja as the all-rounders.
Other than the regulars – Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah – Aakash Chopra included the in-form batting pair of Ishan Kisha and Shreyas Iyer. He feels that Yuzvendra Chahal will be India’s main leg-spinner, staving off competition from the likes of Ravi Bishnoi and Kuldeep Yadav.
There are plenty of pace-bowling options available at the management’s disposal. For Chopra, one of Bhuvneshwar Kumar or Deepak Chahar will make the squad as both bring very similar characteristics to the table.
To make use of the Australian conditions, one or two of Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, and Mohammed Siraj will come in the squad as all three have high pace and can extract bounce, he explained.
A couple of big exclusions from Chopra’s squad were that of Shardul Thakur and Harshal Patel, both of whom he thinks wouldn’t be effective in the death overs on Australian surfaces.
Aakash Chopra India squad for T20 World Cup 2022: Rohit Sharma (C), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Venkatesh Iyer, Hardik Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar/Deepak Chahar, Prasidh Krishna/Avesh Khan/Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami/T Natarajan/Khaleel Ahmed
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