India will start their T20 World Cup campaign against Pakistan on October 24. Kane Williamson’s New Zealand and Afghanistan are the other teams grouped with the men in blue. 

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the 15-man Indian squad for the marquee event early in September. On Wednesday, Shardul Thakur, who was announced as a reserve along with Shreyas Iyer and Deepak Chahar, replaced Axar Patel in the squad. While upcoming talents like Varun Chakravarthy, Rahul Chahar and Ishan Kishan got a place, the likes of Shikhar Dhawan and Yuzvendra Chahal missed out. 

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Let’s look at five Indian players to watch out for in the tournament:

1) Ravindra Jadeja:

Along with picking 11 wickets at a miserly run rate of 6.86 rpo, ‘Sir’ Ravindra Jadeja comes into the T20 World Cup with 227 runs against his name in IPL 2021. The 32-year-old recorded an average of more than 75 and most of his runs have come as a finisher. With Jadeja on the field, direct hit run outs and unreal catches can also become a common sight. 

However, in 50 T20Is, Ravindra Jadeja has been able to score only 217 runs and take 39 wickets. The all-rounder will be keen on improving those numbers during the World Cup. 

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2) Suryakumar Yadav:

The No 4 spot in the Indian batting order looks safe with Suryakumar Yadav. After a string of low scores in IPL 2021, the Mumbai Indians batsman hit the right tune during his 40-ball 82 against the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the team’s last group game. He finished the tournament with 317 runs.

Yadav has been a mainstay for the Mumbai Indians for the last two seasons and skipper Virat Kohli would want to see the 31-year-old to step up in national colours. The T20 World Cup is Yadav’s first ICC tournament and he would like to go big.

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3) Jasprit Bumrah:

Jasprit Bumrah finished the IPL 2021 as Mumbai’s highest wicket taker with 21 dismissals against his name. The 27-year-old delivered at an economy of 7.45 rpo and average just short of 20. Bumrah, India’s primary death bowler, would want to carry forward his form from the UAE-leg. 

4) KL Rahul:

At the time of Punjab Kings last game in IPL 2021, KL Rahul was by almost a 100-run margin, the orange cap holder. The 29-year-old finished the tournament with 626 runs against his name in 13 games at a whopping average of more than 62. He hit sixth half-centuries and stuck at a rate of 138. 

While there have been speculations that Ishan Kishan might come up as an opener to partner Rohit Sharma at the top, KL Rahul still remains as the top contender. 

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5) Virat Kohli:

Royal Challengers Bangalore finished fourth in IPL 2021. Virat Kohli announced that he will not captain the side next season and the Indian T20 team after the World Cup. As he steps on the field as captain or batsman, all eyes will be on Kohli, who still hasn’t won an ICC trophy as captain. The last century he scored came in 2019. He has not scored a T20I hundred yet. Will the T20 World Cup see his first? 

Complete squad:

Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami.

Standy Players

Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar.