We are here trying to find India’s 15-man squad for the T20 World Cup based on the players’ performance in IPL 2022.
Why there is no Virat Kohli
You may be a bit surprised to find that there is no mention of Virat Kohli in the 15. His overall numbers in T20s are impeccable.
Kohli has 10614 runs in the shortest format of the sport from 342 matches and from 97 T20Is he has made 3296 runs at 51.50 of average and his strike-rate is a healthy 137.
So, how can we overlook Kohli? The primary reason is his continued lean patch and it spilt over to the IPL 2022 for Royal Challengers Bangalore.
For RCB, Kohli made 341 runs from 16 matches at an average of 22.73 and his strike-rate stood at 115.98. He made 2 fifties and had fallen for 3 golden ducks.
But the nature of T20 is shaping differently now, where power-hitters hold sway. Jos Buttler showed a glimpse of what can be expected of England in the T20 World Cup and they will unite strong forces like Alex Hales, Eoin Morgan, Jonny Bairstow etc at the top order and all of them can tee off instantly.
Australia, Pakistan and West Indies too have similar players in their line-up and India can’t go behind the fence now.
Rohit Sharma too had a modest IPL 2022 but as he has been appointed as the captain, the Mumbaikar will take up the opener’s slot. Theoretically, Kohli needs either to open or come at No 3 to maximise his run-making potential.
But Kohli is not a batsman who tees off from ball 1. He needs his time to settle down, and now more so that is the case.
It is not a bad trait to have but someone at the other end will have to go all the guns blazing to compensate for Kohli’s rather conventional approach.
In fact, Kohl’s presence will make India’s top 3 a rather carbon copy of batsmen with similar approach with the other two being Rohit and KL Rahul. So, the selectors might just try to convince Kohli to free up his slot for the T20 World Cup.
Umran Malik might find a place because of his ability to generate pace and bounce, something the Jammu fast bowler will find aplenty in Australia.
But other than that the bowlers pick themselves up — Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed and Yuzvendra Chahal with Hardik Pandya and Deepak Hooda rolling their arms over.
India Squad for T20 World Cup (Predicted): 1 KL Rahul, 2 Rohit Sharma (captain), 3. Sanju Samson (wk), 4 Ravindra Jadeja, 5 Shreyas Iyer, 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Rishabh Pant (wk), 8 Dinesh Karthik, 9 Yuzvendra Chahal, 10 Kuldeep Yadav, 11 Jasprit Bumrah, 12 Mohammed Shami, 13 Umran Malik, 14 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 15 Khaleel Ahmed.
India Playing 11 (Predicted): 1 KL Rahul, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Sanju Samson, 4 Rishabh Pant (wk), 5 Shreyas Iyer, 6, Hardik Pandya, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 9 Mohammed Shami, 10 Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Jasprit Bumrah.