India announced their 15-member squad for the men’s T20 World Cup on Wednesday night, with some surprise inclusions and omissions. We take a look at six players who were unlucky to miss the bus in the first T20 World Cup since 2016.
One of Virat Kohli’s most trusted aides for a long time, Chahal was unable to make the cut after a series of below-par showings across formats. Despite picking up 63 T20I wickets in 49 games at 25.30, the RCB bowler has been short on confidence of late, which has seen his average shoot up to 36.58 in the last two years. He has picked up just 17 wickets in 18 games in this interim, conceding runs at almost nine an over, and was off-colour in the IPL as well. In this year’s tournament, Chahal returned just four wickets in the first seven matches before the competition was postponed, and his recent form prompted the selectors to go back to Ravichandran Ashwin for the tournament.
The left-hander has been in sensational form in the IPL in the last two seasons, scoring close to 1,000 runs in 25 matches since 2020. He batted with a strike rate of 144.73 last season — his best in any edition of the tournament — but with a number of in-form openers already in the fray, Dhawan was the player left out. The player does not boast of the best strike rate in T20Is, which stands at 126.36, but has shown his ability to adopt an aggressive approach, albeit in the IPL, and with his record in ICC events, will consider himself unlucky to miss out.
Though Siraj last played a T20I game in 2018, his performances were on the upward curve in the IPL, where his death-ball bowling earned considerable praise. His spell to Andre Russell in the edition this year, where Siraj sent down four yorkers at the death while bowling to the West Indies great, helped RCB eke out a win, and his exponential rise across formats made him a dark horse to make the T20 squad. With Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s injury concerns, having a player like Siraj, if only in the reserves, would have been a huge boost to the seamer’s morale.
Shaw’s aggressive batting at the top in the IPL ensured he had an outside chance of making the T20 squad. The youngster was on fire in this year’s tournament, amassing 308 runs in just eight matches at a strike rate of 166.48, the highest among players who had scored at least 170 runs in the first half of the tournament. However, his inexperience coupled with India’s rich reserve of openers ensured that the Delhi Capitals player missed the cut.
The all-rounder has been a match-winner for India but has fallen off the radar after an unimpressive run in the IPL, where he has failed to accumulate more than 200 runs in a single season since 2019. Krunal has not been among the wickets as well, taking just nine scalps in 23 matches, and his inability to raise his game in pressure situations meant that he failed to impress the selectors.
Samson impresses with his skills and his natural ability till he doesn’t. One of the most talented players in Indian cricket, Samson’s inconsistency has been his major flaw, which meant that Ishan Kishan was preferred over the Kerala cricketer. This year, Samson ended the IPL with 277 runs in seven games, despite having a high score of 119, and his failure to carry on when in form resulted in his omission.