With Jasprit Bumrah all but ruled out of the T20 World Cup 2022, India will need to find other heroes to avoid the embarrassment that the side suffered in the competition last year in the UAE. The death bowling continues to remain a concern and so does the inconsistency of a couple of batters.
India are placed in Group 2 in the Super 12 round with Pakistan, South Africa, Bangladesh and two teams from the qualifying round, and will kick off their campaign against the arch-rivals at the MCG.
Here are 5 players in India’s squad (15-man squad announced initially without changes yet) who can be the biggest match-winners for India at the T20 World Cup 2022:
Not just in the Indian team, but Suryakumar Yadav is perhaps the most in-form T20 batsman in the world currently. A late bloomer in international cricket, Suryakumar has taken international cricket like a duck to water: 30 T20I innings, 976 runs at an average of 39 and strike rate of 173 with 1 century and 8 fifties; SKY is the leading T20I run-scorer in 2022, his 732 runs coming at a strike rate of 180.
Seldom has any player had such a huge amount of faith and expectations as Arshdeep Singh after playing a handful of international matches. Drafted into the Indian team after a terrific IPL 2022 season – where he was the second-best death bowler economy-wise for a considerable number of overs bowled – Arshdeep won the Man of the Series award in West Indies and now will have the responsibility of India’s death bowling in the absence of Bumrah.
The 23-year-old left-arm pacer has taken 17 wickets in 12 T20Is and has conceded at only 7.44 runs per over which is more than impressive given he regularly bowls at least 2 overs in the death.
India captain Rohit Sharma has readily sacrificed his average for a better strike rate and has led from front India’s new aggressive batting approach. Shedding off the previously used conservative approach, Rohit has shown intent from the first over to take down the opposition.
In 2022, Rohit’s powerplay strike rate is 147 in T20Is, which is a significant increase from previous years. The Indian skipper has consciously been playing risker shots in order to up the team run rate, however, because of him playing with extra risk, the big scores have been missing.
In T20Is this year, Rohit averages 26 but has a strike rate of 146, which is better than that of Kohli (136) and significantly higher than KL Rahul’s 119.
There hasn’t been a more consistent and bigger match-winner with the bat in T20Is than former India captain Virat Kohli. He is the second-highest T20I run-scorer with 3663 runs – only 31 runs behind Rohit despite playing 32 fewer innings!.
The combination of Kohli’s averages (50) and strike rate (137) shows that he’s mastered the art of pacing an innings in T20Is, adept at playing according to the situation and changing gears when needed.
Kohli is already the only player to win the Player of the Tournament award in T20 World Cup twice (2014, 2016). In what is likely to be his last T20 World Cup, India will need their talisman batsman to have another bumper tournament.
Dinesh Karthik propelled himself as one of the best finishers in the world during a spectacular IPL 2022 season – the RCB batter smashed 330 runs at a strike rate of 183, and made a return to the Indian team after three years, at the age of 37.
He has played three match-winning hands in the national blues – against West Indies, South Africa and Australia – and the management has made it clear that DK will be preferred over Pant as the keeper-batter, and has been assigned the role of death overs hitter only.
Karthik’s strike rate in the death overs in 2022 is 195, and he would enjoy the pace and bounce of Australian pitches at the T20 World Cup.