Former Indian pacer Zaheer Khan picked his preferred Indian squad for this year’s T20 World Cup and decided to leave out the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Kuldeep Yadav and Shreyas Iyer. He also added that he will pick Yuzvendra Chahal as the lead spinner over the man-in-form Rahul Chahar.
India’s last T20I assignment before this year’s T20 World Cup came to an end on Thursday after they succumbed to a 1-2 defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka. However, there wasn’t much that India could draw out of the series, especially in the batting department, after they could field only five specialist batters in the last two games. But, the series did help India assess their bowling stocks, with most of the spinners in contention getting opportunities to prove themselves.
Former Indian pacer Zaheer Khan has now named his 15-man Indian squad for the T20 World Cup, which will be staged in the UAE and Oman later this year. He said that he will open the batting with KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma. While he left out Shikhar Dhawan from the squad itself.
“I will open with KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma. Virat and Surya will follow them. I know Virat has made the statement that he wants to open the innings. But I would still say that Virat only opens in case Hardik is not available to bowl. In that scenario, you can sacrifice one batsman and get an extra bowler,” Zaheer said on Cricbuzz Live.
The three-match T20I series witnessed some great performances from India’s spinners in spin-friendly conditions, especially from Rahul Chahar, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. Chahar emerged as the most potent of all the Indian bowlers, but Zaheer picked Chahal as the lead spinner.
“I have Chahal as the lead leg spinner and also went in with Rahul Chahar as his backup. In this format, we have seen that leg spinner is such a crucial factor. Chakravarthy/Sundar will be the spinners who would be bowling with the new ball. If you want that mystery element, you can choose Chakravarthy, but otherwise, you can go in with Sundar as well,” said Zaheer Khan
The World Cup winner also left out Shreyas Iyer from his squad and instead picked the likes of Ishan Kishan and Rishabh Pant for middle-order slots. While for all-rounders, he went with Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja, leaving out Krunal Pandya. He also overlooked Kuldeep Yadav, despite his decent performances in the recently-concluded T20Is.
Zaheer’s 15-man Squad of India: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (c), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Rahul Chahar, T Natarajan/Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Washington Sundar/Varun Chakravarthy