Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Gill, Rinku among reserves of India’s T20 WC squad

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New Delhi, April 30: Sanju Samson and Yuzvendra Chahal on Tuesday made it to India’s provisional squad for the T20 World Cup thanks to strong IPL performances but Shubman Gill and the big-hitting Rinku Singh were relegated to the reserves group as selectors went with the tried and tested for the marquee event in June.
The BCCI announced the Rohit Sharma-led squad after a meeting between secretary Jay Shah and chief selector Ajit Agarkar in Ahmedabad. Rohit and Agarkar are expected to address the media in Mumbai on Thursday.
All-rounder Hardik Pandya was retained as vice-captain despite his poor recent form after taking over Mumbai Indians leadership in the ongoing IPL.
Hard-hitting batter Shivam Dube also made the cut following a strong IPL showing for Chennai Super Kings.“There was a lot of debate over Hardik’s place in the squad while Samson was not debated much. Rinku was just unlucky. It was a toss-up between (Dube and Rinku with Hardik also in the squad,” a BCCI source told PTI.Samson, who has had a good IPL both as a batter and captain for Rajasthan Royals, was included as the second wicketkeeper-batter behind Rishabh Pant, pipping the likes of K L Rahul and Ishan Kishan.
Leg-spinner Chahal, who last played for India in August 2023, is the second wrist spinner in the team alongside Kuldeep Yadav.
However, Gill, who is enjoying a good run in the IPL as Gujarat Titans captain, found himself among the standbys along with Kolkata Knight Riders’ big-hitter Rinku Singh.The selectors decided to show faith in Yashasvi Jaiswal, who had a slow start in the IPL but regained his touch with swashbuckling hundred recently for Rajasthan Royals.
The redoubtable Virat Kohli completed the Indian top order after pulling off strong batting performances in the IPL.
The T20 World cup begins on June 2 in the USA and the Caribbean. India will open their campaign against Ireland on June 5 in New York.
India, who have had disappointing campaigns in the previous two World Cups due to their conservative batting approach, needed to make a few bold calls to stake a claim for an elusive ICC trophy.
Picking Dube ahead of Rinku Singh is a bold call in that aspect considering the latter had done no wrong since making his India debut in August last year.Before the IPL, Rinku, who has a strike rate of 176.23 in 15 T20Is, was considered a certainty in the India squad but selectors have preferred the six-hitting skills of Dube in the middle-order.
To be fair to the left-hander from Mumbai, he has been in sensational touch in the IPL and also flaunted his power hitting prowess in India’s last T20 series in January.
On the wicket-keeper batters’ front, India were spoilt for choice and eventually the selectors picked Pant and Samson.
Pant being chosen was on expected lines after the match-winner proved his form and fitness in the IPL after coming back from a horrific car accident in December 2022. His comeback to the game has been nothing short of sensational after being on crutches for several months. (PTI)

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