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As India gear up for the World Cup, who makes the final squad?

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Roar Guru
3rd August, 2022

What does a captain do when he has a large pool of players to select his final squad?

The easy answer is that he will give all of them a chance to play in multiple games and pick the best 15 for the squad. However, there are two problems with this approach.

One is that fringe players get fewer games to prove their worth. The other is that it leaves the players confused about their roles in the team.

Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid have followed the easy answer approach over the past six months to finalise India’s squad for the T20 World cup in Australia. I am not sure if they found clear-cut answers to all their questions.

Here are some of those burning questions.

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What is the best position for Rishabh Pant?


Over the past few years, Rishabh has been India’s talisman in Test cricket. However, his batting position and role in T20 cricket are muddled. In the last World Cup and many subsequent games, Pant batted at 4. Then, Rohit Sharma had Pant bat at the top of the order for a few games.

Now, in the West Indies, Pant is back at No.4. So, I cannot decipher the thought process of Indian management concerning Pant.

Looking at the travails of this batting unit against left-arm fast opening bowlers, they need a left-hander like Pant to open the innings to counter the threat.

Does Shreyas Iyer fit in this team?

Management seems to have great faith in Shreyas’ ability. They have given him an uninterrupted run in the past six months to solidify his position in the team.

However, he has not repaid the faith effectively. Iyer’s strike rate and average over the past six months have been sub-par. Iyer’s glaring weakness against short-pitched bowling has impacted his all-round game. He needs to go back and get his technique sorted out before donning the India colours.

How will Virat Kohli and KL Rahul fit into the World cup squad?


KL Rahul has missed most of the matches in the run-up to the World Cup. Even though he was a vital cog in the T20 batting unit before his injury, it will be dangerous for the team to pick him for the World Cup with little match practice.

In the all-out attack approach India seems to be following in T20 batting, does an anchor player like KL have a role to play?

Rohit has been handling Virat Kohli like a mother would protect her child.

Virat Kohli of India cuts a dejected figure

(Photo by Michael Steele-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

Virat did not play well. He gave him an uninterrupted run in the games. Rohit has allowed Virat to miss the West Indies games to keep him out of the firing line.

It looks like the team management has made up their minds to play Virat in the World Cup irrespective of his form in the tournament lead-up. Just like KL’s case, playing Virat based on his record is not a welcome decision.

Knowing the Indian thought process, KL and Virat will start in the World Cup. Such a decision will run roughshod over all the experimentation over the past six months.


Who are India’s best bowlers?

The picture on the bowling side is far more evident than on the batting side. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal are certainties. Arshdeep Singh has shown enough ability, versatility and potential that he will take the fourth spot.

Rohit has given Avesh Khan plenty of chances and has tested him in various situations. Looking at the results, Avesh Khan will not be a starter in the World Cup.

Ravi Bishnoi has done enough justice to take the back-up spinner slot to cover for Chahal.

Since his return, Hardik Pandya has been brilliant as the seam-bowling all-rounder. Deepak Hooda and Ravindra Jadeja have been in good form as well.

How much is enough?


Management has done enough rotation of players over the past six months and should decide now on their preferred 15 for the World Cup. These 15 should play the upcoming T20 matches and get their game plan set for the big tournament.

My first XI for the World Cup

Batting: Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Surya Kumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Dinesh Karthik
Bowling: Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Yuzvendra Chahal
All-rounders: Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja
Other four: Virat Kohli, Ravi Bishnoi, Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel