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T20 World Cup 2021

Five players unlucky to miss out on the India T20I squad to face New Zealand

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Out with the old, in with the new.

India’s new coach and captain are here, and a number of changes have been made to the India T20I team. Yet, there are some impressive players who missed out on an India place, despite good showings in recent T20 contests. Here we look at five such names.

Prithvi Shaw

India’s reluctance to get going at the top in recent times has cost them important games both in bilateral contests as well as at this T20 World Cup. Still they’ve gone with the old combination of Rahul-Rohit backed by Ishan Kishan and newcomer Ruturaj Gaikwad. The New Zealand series could’ve been an opportunity to give an extended opportunity to Pritvhi Shaw an opener whose early intent is perhaps unrivalled among his countrymen. His strike-rate in the format is 146.99.


Shaw’s approach at the top might be seen as cavalier by some but if the Mumbai batter gets going he can take the game away from the opposition in a matter of a few overs. A brisk start can also assist the more aggressive batters to go all guns blazing in the latter overs. From the looks of it the new management seems to be backing Shaw to come good in the longer format so there is still a possibility that he may be included in the T20I setup in the coming months.

Mayank Agarwal

Some might think that two openers are too many in this list, given that India picked five openers in their actual squad, but it would be sheer injustice if a player of Mayank Agarwal’s calibre isn’t tried out before the next World Cup. The Karnataka batter has been in exemplary form in the IPL over the last couple of seasons, having scored heavy runs at a strike-rate of 140.44 in 2021, and 156.45 in 2020.

India have looked clueless on occasions when they lost an early wicket in recent T20I encounters. Someone like Agarwal can ensure that the scoring rate doesn’t drop at the other end, even while the side looks to consolidate.

Arshdeep Singh

An impressive IPL, where he picked 18 wickets at a strike-rate of 13.77, aside, Arshdeep has what the India team have been looking for for quite some time. He is a left-arm pacer.

He might not be the fastest of bowlers around, but bowls with a big heart, and varies his pace and angles to great effect. His most recent Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy figures aren’t the most impressive, but the Punjab pacer is only 22 and still developing as a cricketer. His inclusion could help India become a more complete T20 outfit.

Sanju Samson

The Kerala batter is slowly becoming the nearly man of the Indian T20 setup. He did a good job in this year’s IPL, and has been impressive in the recent SMAT encounters, yet finds himself out of the India T20 setup yet again.

Samson, despite his potential, has never quite become the player many expected him to be when he started out. This is shown through his mixed domestic returns and unfulfilled international career. But his recent form shows that he’s looking to turn a corner in his career. A gun fielder, explosive batter, and a back-up keeper, Samson can be a good fit in this T20I team.

Ravi Bishnoi

Another talented product in the junior setup, Ravi Bishnoi is inching closer to an India place with each passing day. He was tough to play in the IPL, picking up 12 wickets at an economy of 6.34, with a strike-rate of 17.5. He has been impressive in the SMAT as well, where he took a hat-trick for Rajasthan against Andhra.

Although the management have backed Yuzvendra Chahal, India should keep another leg-spin option ready for Australia. Bishnoi might just be the X-factor that India are looking for in their spinners.

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