India has announced its 15-member squad for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 set to kick off on 17 October in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with the national side tipped as one of the favourites to take home the winner’s trophy.
Virat Kholi announced as captain
Star batsman Virat Kholi will lead the team onto the field, while veteran MS Dhoni has been declared team mentor. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Honorary Secretary Jay Shah revealed in a press release that Dhoni’s inspiration as the former India captain who led the side to the inaugural T20 World Cup 2007 win will be pivotal in this year’s campaign.
India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and New Zealand make up the pool in Group 2, which will face the top two sides advancing from Round 1, while the top two teams in each group of the Super12 stage progress to the semi-finals, with the final set to be played in Dubai on 14 November.
Full Indian T20 squad:
Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami; Stand-by: Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur.
This formidable line-up has been touted as one of the strongest sides in the tournament, covering every aspect of play, trom the top-order to middle-order in terms of batting, to the all-rounders, and the bowlers, India has papered a great team.
As far as betting tips on cricket go, arch-rivals New Zealand are also hot contenders, having dominated ICC events against India so far. New Zealand defeated India in the 2007 T20 World Cup, 2016 T20 World Cup, 2019 ODI World Cup, and 2021 WTC final.
Ishan Kishan is primed to open the batting for India—although he has been known to dominate in the middle order—while three specialist all-rounders have been tapped in Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, and Axar Patel. The pace attack finds form in the shape of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, and Jasprit Bumrah. Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin’s return has raised attention, as he last played limited-overs cricket for India in 2017.
India’s bench is strong, while Indian Premier League (IPL) experience has bolstered the team’s experience in 2021, with the big names of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, and Jasprit Bumrah expected to be in fine fettle.
Dhoni’s mentorship could just be the edge that takes this team to the top, as he will bring his formidable knowledge and experience to the squad. India’s second-best result was finishing runner-up in 2014, while the team found the semi-finals in 2016.
India’s fixtures for the ICC T20 World Cup 2021:
24th October 2021: India vs Pakistan, 7:30 PM, Dubai
31st October 2021 India vs New Zealand, 7:30 PM, Dubai
3rd November 2021 India vs Afghanistan, 7:30 PM, Abu Dhabi
5th November 2021 India vs B1, 7:30 PM, Dubai
8th November 2021 India vs A2, 7:30 PM Dubai
Anthem composed by renowned Indian music director Amit Trivedi
Meanwhile, the official anthem of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, composed by renowned Indian music director Amit Trivedi, was launched on Thursday, 23 September. The animated campaign film debuted “avatars” of captain Virat Kohli, West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard, Afghanistan’s ace spinner Rashid Khan, and Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell.
Featuring broadcast technology that blends both 3D and 2D effects—it involved a production team of over 40, including designers, modellers, matte painters, animators, lighters, and compositors—the film features young fans transported by the exciting world of T20 cricket.