- Cricket Winner | December 8, 2020 | 1:08 pm
With Bumrah and Shami having their workload managed and Bhuvneshwar Kumar not available for the T20s, India got the chance to test some new players.
Testing new players are turning out to be a good thing as India will now be able to get a picture of the group that is likely for the T20 World Cup next year.
The bowling, in particular, has shown great depth, with younger bowlers coming in.
T Natarajan has been India’s best bowler this series, while Thakur has shown his ability in the chances given.
In particular, Natarajan has impressed the IPL with his Yorkers but proved he could be more versatile in Australia.
His growth as a bowler has reflected in his performance.
With a few more consistent performances, Natarajan may well be in the squad.
Being a left-arm bowler helps in his favor, as India has been searching for a left-arm pacer for a long time.
Deepak Chahar is another seamer who has shown his ability in the IPL and looks like a potential candidate.
Chahar also has some good performances from India in the limited opportunities given to him.
The bowling is likely to provide India with the most considerable selection headaches, as they have six or seven potential candidates at the moment.
The number may increase with the IPL coming before the World Cup.
Having the IPL earlier may allow some more fast bowlers to name themselves, increasing the competition.
The spin attack also has some notable competitors.
With Jadeja’s batting form and fielding abilities, he seems to have cemented his place unless there is a dip in form.
Other than him, Washington Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal will fight it out for the second spinner.
Chahal has been a regular member of the side for a considerable period.
His smart and aggressive bowling can make a massive impact on the Indian pitches.
Washington Sundar, on the other hand, is a good bowler with the new ball.
He can bowl tight lines and makes run-scoring difficult.
Beyond these two, India has Kuldeep Yadav and Varun Chakravarthy.
Like Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav is an aggressive bowler, and with his left-arm wrist spin, Yadav provides variety to the attack.
Varun Chakravarthy had a breakthrough season in the IPL and made the Indian team but couldn’t come on the tour due to injury.
For now, Shami, Bumrah, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar may feel secure.
The back-up pacers will be a toss-up between the others, with Natarajan likely to be the front-runner.
Thakur and Chahar are also good bowlers, and a few good performances from the two will make things get tight.
The batting, on the other hand, looks more settled.
Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma look set to retain their places with Virat Kohli at number three.
The top three contain a lot of experience, with the players forming the top order since 2013.
Rohit Sharma is also the only player who was apart of India’s first World T20 win, which shows how long he’s been around.
India has backed KL Rahul as their white-ball keeper, and he may as well maintain his spot, although in the middle-order.
Proving his ability as a batsman, Hardik Pandya may continue at number six, and if he can bowl, India the side will have a lot more benefits.
Hardik Pandya bowling will allow India to field six bowling options while also having a deeper batting line-up, with Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar Kumar behind him.
There may be a slight debate while deciding the number four spot.
Shreyas Iyer has been backed to take up the role, but with Sanju Samson and Manish Pandey around, there will be some healthy competition.
Sanju Samson has shown he has the potential for a while now, and Manish Pandey is also an experienced player.
Manis Pandey has proved himself to be a match-winner who can bat in various situations.
The three are excellent fielders, and the toss-up is likely to come up due to the batting skills.
An outside threat to the spot may be Rishabh Pant, who has not been selected due to poor form.
Rishabh Pant has for long been earmarked as the X-factor in the Indian line-up.
His aggressive batting and ability to play around the field will be on India’s mind.
Due to his form, he has not been able to find a place in the side, but his inclusion seems very likely if he does return to form.
The team does however, contain lots of depth, with a larger variety of players awaiting selections.
The competition for spots is definitely going to get bigger and bigger going forward, and the selection process will be one to look out for.