No T20 WC Bound India Player In Top Two IPL Teams: Did Selectors Miss A Trick By Picking Squad On Reputation?

May 21,2024

India will head into the T20 World Cup expecting to end their ICC trophy drought. The Men in Blue last won an ICC trophy in 2013 when MS Dhoni led the team to glory in the Champions Trophy. India had high hopes of winning the ODI World Cup in India but the hosts were stunned by Australia in the final. With pressure to win an ICC event mounting, the BCCI had to fall back on veterans Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, who hardly played any T20I cricket since the T20 World Cup 2022.

The T20 World Cup was scheduled after the IPL 2024 thus performance in the T20 extravaganza was expected to be the criteria for selection in the T20 World Cup squad. However, that was not the case when the India squad for the T20 World Cup was announced. Players like Riyan Parag, Abhishek Sharma, T Natarajan, and Varun Chakravarthy did remarkably well in the tournament but failed to bag a berth in the squad. On the other end, experienced players like Hardik Pandya, Rohit Sharma, and Ravindra Jadeja were picked despite not having a great IPL 2024.

The selectors had to make a call of going in with the in-form players or falling back on experienced players for the T20 World Cup and the stakeholders took a safe way and picked a tried and tested squad, with a few players like Shivam Dube, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Sanju Samson, who did well in IPL 2024, lucky enough to find a place.

To be fair, Virat Kohli was the only senior player who justified his selection with a stunning performance in the IPL 2024. Kohli had a great run in the tournament and became the first player to breach the 700-run mark. Kohli single handedly led RCB into the playoffs despite a horrible start to the campaign where the team lost seven out of the first eight games.

The India squad for the T20 World Cup received mixed reviews, with fans raising their concerns about whether the squad is good enough to win the T20 World Cup on current form. The fans also pointed out that none of the T20 World Cup-bound players were in the top two teams of IPL 2024 - KKR and SRH, who will lock horns in the Qualifier 1. Sanju Samson and Yashasvi Jaiswal from Rajasthan Royals and Virat Kohli and Mohammed Siraj from RCB are the only T20 World Cup-bound players who will feature in playoffs.

Did selectors miss a trick by not picking the in-form players and going after the senior players? It will all depend on how players perform in the T20 World Cup. The conditions in the West Indies and USA will be very different to what the players got in IPL thus it would have been no guarantee that players who did well in IPL would have done well in the T20 World Cup.

At the same time, low returns in the IPL could put senior players down on confidence which could hamper their performance. If India go on to win the World Cup, no one will complain, however, if the team does not live up the expectations, the selectors should be ready for serious criticism - that's how Indian cricket works, sadly.

India squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya (vc), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Siraj

Reserves: Shubman Gill, Rinku Singh, Khaleel Ahmed and Avesh Khan