The ICC T20 World cup 2021 is all set to take place in the UAE starting on 17 October. India being the favourites going into the world cup, The Men in Blue have named their 15-man squad to be led by Virat Kohli, with Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur listed as reserves for the mega event.
The 15-man squad has some big guns missing out, like Shikhar Dhawan and Yuzvendra Chahal. The selectors and the fans feel every player selected in the squad has the capability to pull out extraordinary performances whenever needed.
The Squad is Out! 🙌
— BCCI (@BCCI) September 8, 2021
While India boasts of a very strong batting lineup, led by Kohli and vice-captain Rohit Sharma at the top, their bowling attack is also one of the most versatile in the tournament.
3 Key bowlers India will rely on going into the mega event:
#1. Jasprit Bumrah
There’s no surprise Bumrah to be on top of the list. Jasprit Bumrah has become irreplaceable in the Indian team. In 50 T20Is, Bumrah has 59 wickets, at an average of 20.25 and an economy of 6.66. His bowling strike rate is 18.20.
Going into the Worldcup only Shardul Thakur and Deepak Chahar have a better strike rate than him, and only the latter has a better average, and they have played less than half the matches Bumrah has. Even in the IPL, Bumrah has been a key bowler in the Mumbai Indians team that has dominated the tournament since 2013, winning it a record five times.
Apart from being India’s best death-overs bowler, Bumrah is someone the captain can turn to in the Powerplay or in the middle overs if the team needs to break a partnership or get a key wicket. He’s an all-round bowler who can be used anywhere, at any point of time.
He is deadly with his yorkers but also has a huge range of deliveries in his bag that he can use to deceive the batsmen.
#2. Ravichandran Ashwin
Ashwin last played in the T20 set up in 2017 against the West Indies at Kingston. He has picked up 52 wickets in 46 T20 internationals. However, his economical performance in the UAE leg of the IPL 2021 has proven his excellence and he can be an important asset to the Indian bowling lineup going into the T20 world cup.
In this edition of the IPL, Ashwin has played 10 matches so far, picked up 5 wickets with an economy of 7.24. He is one of the experienced campaigners in the squad and will be key in how Kohli utilizes his overs in different match situations.
#3. Varun Chakravarthy
Ever since his debut in the IPL 2020 season, Varun Chakravarthy has been on the national team selectors’ radar. He missed out on two series for India after failing to clear his fitness tests but finally made his T20I debut on the tour of Sri Lanka in July this year.
Chakravarthy has been picked due to his mystery spin bowling, which has made it difficult for even the best of batsmen to pick him in the two seasons of the IPL that he has played in, and on spin-friendly tracks in the UAE, he is expected to either pick key wickets or choke the opposition for runs. It’s going to be all in Chakravarthy’s favour.
In IPL 2021, he has picked up 15 wickets from 13 matches at an economy rate of 6.73, and is the leading spinner in the wicket-takers list along with Rashid Khan.
The previous season, he picked 17 wickets from 13 matches, including a five-wicket haul. With Yuzvendra Chahal out of the team and Rahul Chahar not in the best of form going into the World Cup, Chakravarthy is expected to be India’s premier spinner in the tournament with Ravichandran Ashwin.