Premium pace spearheads Jasprit Bumrah and death overs specialist Harshal Patel were back as the national selection committee didn't spring any surprise in the 15-man India squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia starting October 16. India will play their first match against Pakistan at the MCG on October 23.
Bumrah, who was suffering from a back injury and Harshal, who had a side strain, had done an intense rehabilitation programme at the National Cricket Academy and the BCCI medical team has deemed them fit for the marquee series. The two players, who missed out on a World Cup berth were pacer Avesh Khan and leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi, who was pipped by senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
Bishnoi was fantastic against Pakistan in the Super 4s game of the Asia Cup where he had outshone senior wrist spinner Yuzvendra Chahal but Chahal was an automatic choice but Bishnoi's fight was always for the third spinner's slot with veteran Ravichandran Ashwin.
Obviously, two leg-spinners wouldn't have added variations but Ashwin's presence on big Australian grounds and his ability to take the ball away from the left-handers got precedence. Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka (likely Qualifier in India's group) all have a couple of left-handers in the top five and if Ashwin is played, he can exploit that advantage.
For World Cup: Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya, R. Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Arshdeep Singh.
Standby players - Mohd. Shami, Shreyas Iyer, Ravi Bishnoi, Deepak Chahar.