The preparation for the T20 world cup of 2024 have begun with a 1-0 victory over New Zealand in a three match T20 series under the leadership of Hardik Pandya. The junior Pandya looked calm and composed and if reports are to be believed then BCCI may experiment in split captaincy of having Rohit lead in tests and ODIs while Pandya to take the charge in T20s.
India exited in the semi finals of the recently concluded T20 world cup after a shocking 10 wickets defeat to the hands of England. The Indian team played some old fashioned cricket and gave too much to themselves to do in the last 10 overs which paid off heavily. The spin attack looked defensive rather than attacking and that made all the difference. India need to be fearless in their approach if they stand a chance to get the cup home in 2024.
On that note, here’s predicting India’s best possible XI for the 2024 T20 world cup which according to us should be a team of youngsters.
Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson should be the preferred openers in the team. The left right opening combination can be devastating for the bowling team and both these batters are attacking in nature and can trouble any bowling unit in the world. Shubman Gill may also be preferred for the slot as an option if he can perform well in Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy and the IPL. KL Rahul is a class apart player and if he improves on his strike rate and can play fearless brand of cricket in the coming two years, he can be preferred as well.
Although many would not agree, but Virat Kohli should again be preferred at the number three spot for India. The Delhi batter is back amongst the runs and can play the anchor role if the wickets are tumbling at one end. Teams like West Indies’s loss to Afghanistan in 2016 T20 world cup indicated that aggressive approach can win you world cup but if no one can play the anchor role at the times when needed, the batting line up may shed away like a pack of cards like in the Afghanistan game.
If Kohli is not the ideal choice of the captain or selectors then Shreyas Iyer can take the slot or Suryakumar Yadav can take the number three slot for maximum damage and Iyer can bat at number four.
The number five slot should go to Deepak Hooda who is improving with the ball and is an aggressive batter who can turn the complexion of the game with his striking. He should be nurtured to fit in the role as he is more of a top order batter. His all-round skill will only help India’s cause in 2024.
The skipper of the team- Hardik Pandya should be the best choice at number six and would be the ideal choice of the finisher in the team. His all-round exploits and calm approach as a leader will only benefit the team in the time to come and in the world cup.
Lower middle order
T20 games are tilted towards the team batting deep and that’s why Washington Sundar should get games to prove his mettle. He needs to work on his batting which will make him grow as a cricketer and an ideal choice at number seven. Ravindra Jadeja can also be preferred at number seven or number eight, considering the wickets in West Indies and USA will have more assistance for spinners. If the captain wants to play only one spin all-rounder they can pick the player with best form at that moment. Rahul Tewatia can also fit in the role if he can perform and keep up with his fitness standards.
Harshal Patel has lost his form with the ball but if he can continue his great work, he can be preferred at number 8th or 9th for Team India. He can hit the big boundaries which he proved in the IPL and can be an asset for the team.
Deepak Chahar is a handy swing bowler who is a wicket taker and can strike the ball big when needed. His swing can be a game changer for India and hope he can prove his form and most importantly should be fit enough as he has been struggling with the form off late. Umran Malik is also an option at this slot, he brings that “X” factor in the team and playing someone who delivers at 150 km/hr+ consistently is not easy for any batting team.
Jasprit Bumrah and Arshdeep Singh will be the other two Indian pacers who can wreck havoc on any batting side in the world. If they are not in form or injured, Mohammed Siraj, Bhuvneshwar Kumar or some new talents can fill the void as well.
Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav or Ravi Bishnoi should play if team benched Jadeja or Sundar.
Openers- Ishan Kishan or Sanju Samson or KL Rahul or Shubman Gill
Middle order– Virat Kohli/Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Hardik Pandya
Lower middle order– Washington Sundar/Ravindra Jadeja/Rahul Tewatia and Harshal Patel
Bowlers- Deepak Chahar/Umran Malik, Jasprit Bumrah, Arshdeep Singh/Mohammed Siraj, Yuvzendra Chahal/ Kuldeep Yadav/ Ravi Bishnoi