T20 World Cup: Interesting picks and Exclusions

T20 World Cup Squads are being named, and most have given out their teams. With Cricket being scarce over the last year, the squads were made with various selection parameters, and the result gave the some interesting squads. Let us now look at some interesting selections or exclusions in the squads.

Australia

Australia have found T20 Cricket tough this year, and spent a lot of time without their regular players. Stars like Maxwell, Warner and Smith were missing throughout the year and Aaron Finch injured himself a few weeks ago. Despite the trouble faced in the lead-up, the Australians picked a squad that is more or less predictable. They didn’t spring up too many surprises barring the inclusion of Josh Inglis. Josh Inglis hasn’t made his T20I debut yet, but a strong showing in the Big Bash may have helped him make the squad for the T20 World Cup.

Bangladesh

Barring the exclusion of Tamim Iqbal, the Bangladesh Cricket team didn’t have any unusual changes to their squad. They are doing a great job at home, and the exclusion of Tamim Iqbal was spoken about a month ago. Tamim Iqbal himself volunteered to sit out of the T20 World Cup as he had been away from the short format for a while due to knee injury and felt it would be unfair to come in place of a young talent who has been doing all the hard work while Iqbal was away.

England

England are in a brilliant position to complete the double of a 50 over World Cup and a T20 World Cup. They picked a squad based on their national sides performance over the last year, and are going with the players who have been in the set-up for a while. Ben Stokes has not made the squad as he is on a break to look after his mental health. Jofra Archer is also injured, which has prompted the English team to bring back Tymal Mills. Joe Root has been excluded from the T20 World Cup squad, but this is predictable as Root hasn’t been a part of the T20 set-up for a while.

Afghanistan

Afghanistan have announced a side that is settled and expected, but with some late confusion. Due to the political turmoil in the nation, a lot of doubt is present over their participation, and through the T20 World Cup they may have to cope with some chaos. The first set of chaos was the resignation of their skipper. Rashid Khan was announced T20I skipper, but stepped down shortly after the announcement as he was not clear of the selections. With a few disagreements, he stood down and the captaincy went to Mohammad Nabi.

India

The Indian team made some interesting calls ahead of the T20 World Cup. They left out their leg-spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. While Yadav’s form hasn’t been great, Chahal’s exclusion came as a surprise. He isn’t bowling too bad and could be a touch disappointed that he isn’t in the squad.

Another surprising exclusion was that of Shreyas Iyer. Iyer is a regular in the T20 side, but a shoulder injury has kept him out of action over the past few months. Although he has recovered, Shreyas Iyer was overlooked, despite being groomed over the last two years. They also left out Shardul Thakur who is in great form.

The Indian team has decided to use five spinners. Rahul Chahar and Varun Chakravarthy are the two leggies, and both are in good form. They brought in Axar Patel and gave a surprise comeback to Ravichandran Ashwin. The fifth spinner is Ravindra Jadeja, who is a sure starter. Choosing the second spinner will be the next task, as one is already decided. The selectors are also persisting with Hardik Pandya despite questions over his bowling workload.

New Zealand

Barring two exclusions, the New Zealand squad seems well balanced. New Zealand left Ross Taylor, and Colin De Grandhomme out. Both players haven’t been in the T20 set-up for a while, so their exclusions are predictable, but still surprising considering their experience, and involvement in the set-up. Ross Taylor’s last T20 was back in November 2020, while Colin De Grandhomme played in January 2020. De Grandhomme feature in the Bangladesh T20s recently, but that was with a squad that missed several first-choice players.

Pakistan

Asif Ali and Kushdil Shah have found their names in the T20 World Cup squad, after being dropped back in April. Both may have used the PSL to get back in the squad, While Sharjeel Khan has been left out. Both players’ inclusion is questionable, but Pakistan seems to back their ability.

Two surprising inclusions from the T20 World Cup squad are of Sarfaraz Ahmed and Shoaib Malik. Sarfaraz Ahmed has been traveling with the side for a while, but with Mohammad Rizwan in the side and Azam Khan as backup, Ahmed has been left out. Shoaib Malik has been in poor form for a while and is in and out of the T20 side. His inclusion though, seemed possible as the tournament could have been a swansong for him. He is an experienced campaigner and may have done well in a high-pressure tournament as well.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka didn’t give too many surprises with their selection for the T20 World Cup. They brought in a mystery spinner, Maheesh Takshana, and batters, Kamindu Mendis, and Rajapaksa. There are no major omissions barring the players banned in England for breaking the bubble. Dinesh Chandimal is in the squad, after having contract issues, and Kusal Perera is in as well, provided he regains fitness. Angelo Mathews did not make the squad after failing to agree with the contract. Lasith Malinga has also not been selected, and subsequently announced his retirement from all forms of Cricket.

South Africa

The Temba Bavuma led side has a few changes. Temba Bavuma is in the squad, but his fitness is unsure of as he is recovering from a finger injury. Faf Du Plessis is out of the side despite making himself available in white-ball Cricket. His omission is a surprise, as he has played white-ball Cricket recently for South Africa. His last T20I came in 2019, and his fitness is an issue that has led to his exclusion.

The final exclusion was that of Imran Tahir. Tahir retired from ODI Cricket in 2019 but didn’t play any game for South Africa ever since then. He was available for selection for the T20 World Cup, but South Africa decided to look at other spinners. With Shamsi doing well, South Africa may have felt they have what they need for now, and left him out.

West Indies

Few years before a T20 World Cup, the West Indies team finds it tough to pick a quality side. Now, with the World Cup on the horizon, the West Indies are left with a surplus of options. The number of options available has led to the exclusion of players like Carlos Brathwaite, and Jason Holder. They have their T20 specialists back, and Kieron Pollard is leading the side.

The team looks very explosive and there are some interesting comebacks to look at as well. Ravi Rampaul is back in the side after spending some time in County Cricket. Roston Chase has also made the squad after a strong CPL, and the West Indies side looks very powerful with a lot of options and is a team to beat in the T20 World Cup

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