India’s T20 World Cup squad: Pant, Dube and Samson make the cut

India’s T20 World Cup squad: Pant, Dube and Samson make the cut


Legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal made a comeback in the 15-man squad led by Rohit Sharma

Shashank Kishore

Shivam Dube’s big-hitting in the IPL has earned him a place in India’s 15-man squad  BCCI

Rishabh Pant, Shivam Dube and Sanju Samson have all been selected in India’s 15-man squad for the 2024 T20 World Cup starting on June 1 in the USA and the West Indies. The squad, announced on Tuesday afternoon, will be led by Rohit Sharma and has Hardik Pandya as the vice-captain.

Yuzvendra Chahal, who was not part of India’s recent T20I squads for the series in South Africa and at home against Afghanistan in January, has been picked on the back of his IPL form and is one of four spin options, along with left-arm wristspinner Kuldeep Yadav, and left-arm spin-bowling allrounders Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel.

The pace attack comprises only three specialists – Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj and Arshdeep Singh – along with Hardik and Dube as seam-bowling options.

Yashasvi Jaiswal was preferred as Rohit’s opening partner, while Shubman Gill was named as a reserve player along with lower-order batter Rinku Singh and fast bowlers Khaleel Ahmed and Avesh Khan.

Pant hasn’t played a T20I since his car accident in December 2022, and has worked his way back into the squad through his performances in IPL 2024. His 398 runs in 11 innings have come at a strike rate of 158.56. Over the course of the season, he has also allayed any doubts there may have been over his wicketkeeping.

This is Samson’s first selection in a World Cup squad, after he missed out to Dinesh Karthik in 2022. Like Pant, Samson has been in prolific form as captain of Rajasthan Royals, who are on top of the IPL 2024 league table with eight wins in nine games. He has scored 385 runs in nine innings at a strike rate of 161.08 so far. The inclusion of Pant and Samson left no room for KL Rahul or Jitesh Sharma. While Rahul has not played a T20I since the previous World Cup, Jitesh had been part of India’s recent T20I squads, but he’s been in poor form this IPL.

Nine of the 15 players selected, including captain Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, featured in India’s 2022 T20 World Cup campaign. After their semi-final defeat to England then, the BCCI made sweeping changes in a bid to experiment with younger players. However, Rohit and Kohli returned to the T20I squad after more than a year’s absence ahead of the Afghanistan series at home in January.

That series also marked an international return for Dube, who top-scored with 124 runs in three innings. His ability to take down spin in the middle overs for Chennai Super Kings over the past two IPL seasons, and his improvement against fast bowling in 2024, made him a compelling selection. Dube’s inclusion meant Rinku, India’s designated T20I finisher over the last eight months, couldn’t make the 15.

Prior to Rohit’s return to the T20I team in January, India had mostly been captained by Hardik since the 2022 T20 World Cup, while Suryakumar Yadav stood in after Hardik injured his ankle during the ODI World Cup last October-November. Suryakumar led India in the five-match T20I series at home against Australia in November and in the three games in South Africa in December. The upcoming World Cup will be his first T20I since then, following his comeback in the IPL from an ankle injury and sports hernia.

Chahal also played his most recent T20I eight months ago and will be featuring in his first T20 World Cup, having missed out in 2021 to Rahul Chahar and in 2022 to R Ashwin. He has so far picked up 13 wickets in nine games in IPL 2024, with an economy of 9.00 despite bowling in the death overs.

India begin their World Cup campaign against Ireland on June 5 in New York, and then play Pakistan, USA and Canada on June 9, 12 and 15.

India squad for 2024 T20 World Cup

Rohit Sharma (capt), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson, Hardik Pandya, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj
Reserve players: Shubman Gill, Rinku Singh, Khaleel Ahmed, Avesh Khan

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo


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