The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), announced the Indian squad for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2021 with off-spinner R Ashwin making a return to the white-ball squad and MS Dhoni being announced as team mentor. The ICC T20 World Cup 2021 is slated to take place from October 17-November 15 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman.
Virat Kohli, team India’s all-format skipper, will continue to lead the Men in Blue while star opener, Rohit Sharma, has been named the vice-captain of the side. Rishabh Pant will go in the T20 World Cup as the first-choice wicketkeeper of the side. Meanwhile, Jay Shah, the BCCI Honorary Secretary, revealed the thinking behind appointing Dhoni, the former India captain who led the side to the inaugural T20 World Cup trophy. Regarding R Ashwin, the off-spinner last played limited-overs cricket for India in 2017, after which he was restricted to Test cricket. Since then, the likes of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal seemed the preferred option for India in limited-overs cricket, but the duo has been left out of the 15-member squad, with Rahul Chahar, the leg-spinner, and mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy making the squad. The qualifier round of the tournament will be played in Oman and UAE from October 17-October 22, while the Super12 stage of the tournament will be played entirely in the UAE from October 23-November 15. A total of 8 teams have already qualified for the Super12 stage of the T20 World Cup based on the ICC T20 Team Rankings as of March 20, 2021.
The Indian Cricket Team has been placed alongside arch-rivals Pakistan in the second group of the Super12. The two sides have not played bilateral cricket since 2012 due to political tensions between the two nations. Their encounter in the World Cup this year will take place on October 24 in Dubai, which will be the maiden game of both teams in the World Cup this year.