The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday announced a change in the India squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup, scheduled to be held in the UAE and Oman from october 17, with all-rounder Shardul Thakur replacing Axar Patel in the 15-man squad.
According to a BCCI release, the All-India Senior Selection Committee came to the decision after holding a discussion with the Indian team management.
“All-rounder Axar Patel, who was part of the 15-member squad will now be on the list of standby players,” the release said.
Althought the board did not gave any reason for the change in the squad however, it is learnt that the Indian team needed a fast-bowling all-rounder option in the squad after Hardik Pandya was most unlikely to bowl in the showpiece event.
After his back surgery in 2019, Hardik has not bowled regularly and even refrained from bowling for his Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Mumbai Indians in the UAE leg of the tournament.
Meanwhile, the BCCI also announced that Delhi Capitals pacer Avesh Khan, Sunrisers Hyderabad speedster Umran Malik, and Royal Challengers Bangalore Harshal Patel will “join the team bubble in Dubai and assist Team India in their preparations”.
Notably, all these players had impressed in the ongoing season of the IPL.
Also, other players, who will remain in the UAE with the Indian camp to assist the team, are Lukman Meriwala, Venkatesh Iyer, Karn Sharma, Shahbaz Ahmed, and K Gowtham.
Before beginning their campaign in the upcoming T20 World Cup, the Virat Kohli-led Team India will play a couple of warm-up games against England and Australia.
Although the Indian players have received sufficient exposure and have acclimatized to the conditions in the UAE after playing for their respective franchises in the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the warm-up matches will help them get their rhythm back together as a unit.
India will first take on England on October 18 before taking on Australia on October 20.
While the first warm-up game will begin at 19:30 IST, the second one will start at 15:30 IST. Both the matches, which will be held in Dubai, will broadcasted live on Star Sports.
Notably, all the eight teams, who have secured qualification for Round 2 of the showpiece event, will play warm-up matches ahead of the main competition.
While the qualifiers will get underway from October 17 in Oman, the main tournament will begin from October 23 in the UAE in which Australia will be up against South Africa.
Team India, led by Kohli, will open their campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on October 24 in Dubai.
The Men In Blue, placed in the second group, will next face New Zealand on October 31 at the same venue before facing Afghanistan on November 3 in Abu Dhabi.
India will then take on the two of the four qualifiers on November 5 and 8 in Dubai.
The two semifinals will be held on November 10 and November 11 with the final to be played on November 14.
India’s squad for ICC T20 World Cup:
Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami
Stand-by players: Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Axar Patel