» Cricket » Play selector! Pick India's 15 for the World T20

Play selector! Pick India's 15 for the World T20

By Harish Kotian
Last updated on: February 01, 2016 22:50 IST
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Before the selectors meet to finalise the squad later this week, you can take on their role and pick the 15 players you feel can deliver the World T20 Cup to India.

IMAGE: Team India in a huddle. Photograph: Zak Kaczmarek/Getty Images

India announced themselves as the favourites for next month's World T20 with a thumping 3-0 series whitewash of Australia.

The result propelled them to the No 1 ranking in cricket's shortest format.

Since winning the inaugural World T20 in 2007, Indian teams have struggled in subsequent editions of the tournament despite having an array of T20 superstars, courtesy the Indian Premier League.

The 3-0 scoreline Down Under is not a real indicator of the current team's form or dominance.

Australia opted to rest some of their key players and tried out the top performers from their Big Bash League to discover specialists for the T20 tournament in India in March-April.

As for India, an unchanged combination, comprising their best players, were fielded in all three games. It indicated a desire to establish a stable unit rather than complicate matters in team composition by trying out rookies.

Though a lot of T20 games are still to be played before the World T20, a balanced and well-settled unit, with a number of spinning all-rounders who can prove quite handy on the slow home pitches, is in place.

The performance of the batting unit will make the selectors' task easier as far as finalising the squad is concerned.

Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni automatically pick themselves, while Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh's match-winning efforts in the final overs of the third T20I against Australia showed they are also indispensable.

Ajinkya Rahane is also a contender for a middle order slot once he recovers from injury, while Manish Pandey -- who was not part of the squad for the T20 series in Australia but included for the upcoming three-match T20 series against Sri Lanka following his century in the fifth and final ODI which helped India avoid a whitewash -- is also likely to make the cut.

He could replace Gurkeerat Singh Mann, who failed to make the most of the couple of opportunities he got in the ODIs.

Hardik Pandya did not set the stage on fire, but skipper Dhoni believes he has a role to play with bat and ball in 20-over cricket.

Irfan Pathan also made a strong claim for inclusion as an all-rounder following a superb showing in the Mushtaq Ali T20 competition, where he was the highest wicket-taker with 17 wickets in 10 games while scoring 200 runs, at an average of 40.

Spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin did a wonderful job in Australia and will be Dhoni's key weapons at the World T20.

Harbhajan Singh can prove dangerous in Indian conditions while Axar Patel is also a contender.

Pawan Negi's surprise inclusion for the Sri Lanka series makes him a possible candidate for the mega-event.

With Raina and Yuvraj capable of bowling a few overs of effective part-time spin, the team is loaded with spinning options.

The fast bowling department is a concern. The very fact that India had to fall back on 36-year-old Ashish Nehra for the T20 series in Australia proves that very few options are available.

Young Jasprit Bumrah was the find of the Australia tour. His ability to bowl yorkers consistently makes him an important cog in the bowling attack.

Other than that the signs are not encouraging. Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma and Barinder Sran struggled to contain the flow of runs in the five-match ODI series in Australia, while Mohammed Shami sustained an injury ahead of the ODI series and it remains to be seen if he recovers in time for the T20 tournament.

Captain Dhoni hinted that barring injuries, India will, more or less, go with the squad that did duty in the series in Australia for the World T20.

India are drawn in a difficult group, alongside 2009 champions Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand and a qualifier.

Picking the best is the first step towards recapturing the World T20 trophy.

Before the selectors meet to finalise the squad later this week, you can take on their role and pick 15 players you feel can deliver the World T20 Cup to India.

If you feel any other players have a chance to make it to the squad, please write to us here.

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Harish Kotian /