The competition for places in India’s T20I team is such that many believe even Virat Kohli isn’t a certainty in the shortest format anymore! India have played their second-string, and even third-string, team since the pandemic because of packed schedules, rest and injuries.
Some players have got a chance in those but couldn’t really do much. Some seemingly have fallen way out of favour of the selectors and the team management that they might not even play a T20I for India ever again.
Here are 4 players who are unlikely to make their comeback in India’s T20I team:
One of the most experienced players in the Indian team and an IPL stalwart who has been consistent over the years, 36-year-old Shikhar Dhawan, however, hasn’t featured in a T20I for a year.
Dhawan’s inability to put up big scores – like Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul – cost him his place and the team management moved on to younger players like Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson and Ruturaj Gaikwad. The left-handed opener only plays ODI for India and may big adieu after the 2023 ODI World Cup.
Manish Pandey featured in 29 ODIs and 39 T20Is between 2015 and 2021 where he had his finer moments but was largely inconsistent. Eventually, despite his talent and brilliant domestic numbers, the team management moved past the 32-year-old Karnataka captain.
With already a slew of batsmen, younger and in-form than Pandey, competing for a few places in the eleven and squad, Pandey is unlikely to don the India blue jersey again.
Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Deepak Hooda, Washington Sundar – these are the spin-bowling all-rounders who are ahead in Team India’s pecking order than 31-year-old Krunal Pandya and barring Jadeja and Ashwin, the other three are even younger than the Lucknow Super Giants left-hander.
Krunal played in 5 ODIs and 19 T20Is but has been away from the national team for a year given other all-rounders have been more consistent with the bat and offer more control with the ball than Krunal does.
Axar and Sundar have already cemented their places in the Indian team as backups for Jadeja and Ashwin. So it’s highly doubtful that Krunal will ever return to India’s T20I eleven.
It was all a dream run for Varun Chakravarthy – for someone holding an architecture degree, trying out different types of bowling, knee injuries, Chakravarthy went on to the T20 World Cup 2021 in the UAE as a mystery spinner after an 18-wicket IPL season for KKR.
However, Chakravarthy performed disappointingly in the tournament – going wicketless in the three matches against Pakistan, New Zealand and Scotland was dropped from the T20 side never to be picked again so far.
To compound matters, Chakravarthy also had a poor IPL 2022 season for KKR where he picked up only 6 wickets in 11 matches and was dropped from the side. With a number of senior and youngster spinners who have shown more sustainability to the demands of the modern game, Chakravarthy’s India T20 career seems to have been done on a low point.