While all eyes are on the the greatest cricketing extravaganza going on in South Africa right now, India announced their 15 member squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup next month.
There were hardly any surprises. And, sure enough, performances in the IPL had a major say in the look of the team.
Paceman RP Singh is the best example; he made a return to the team after good work in the IPL. Rajasthan Royal Ravindra Jadeja is another, whose consistent performances in the IPL got him a place in the squad.
There were some rumors that Sachin Tendulkar might feature in the T20 World Cup. His bat has been yielding pain and suffering for all the bowlers in the IPL, and the hunger for success never seems to elude the legend. But, just like in 2007, he decided to stay away from the World Cup this time, too, citing the need for younger players deserving opportunity.
Indian selectors had a plethora of talent from which to choose, but some names pick themselves, as usual. MS Dhoni is still the captain, and Sehwag as his deputy.
India will have arguably the strongest batting lineup in the tournament, capable of tormenting any bowling attack with the likes of Gambhir, Raina, Yuvraj Singh, and Rohit Sharma, apart from captain fantastic and his deputy. And don't forget the Pathan brothers, who have dominated the IPL.
Conditions in England warrant a good pace attack. Experienced Zaheer Khan and the young gun Ishant Sharma will lead the bowling attack for India.
T20 proved that spinners cannot be ignored, and young Pragyan Ojha proved that he cannot be ignored. His inclusion in the team, along with ace spinner Harbhajan Singh, means that they will have a couple of good regular slow bowlers and won't have to depend on part-timers to churn out the middle overs.
Nothing but disappointment though, for likes of Abhishek Nayar, Badrinath, L. Balaji, Kohli, Piyush Chawla, and others.
Here's the squad:
- M S Dhoni (c)
- Virender Sehwag
- Gautam Gambhir
- Suresh Raina
- Yuvraj Singh
- Yusuf Pathan
- Rohit Sharma
- Harbhajan Singh
- Zaheer Khan
- Ishant Sharma
- Praveen Kumar
- RP Singh
- Ravindra Jadeja
- Pragyan Ojha
- Irfan Pathan.
India had won the inaugural tournament in 2007. Is this team good enough to repeat their success?