Meta: The T20 World Cup 2021 will in all likelihood be staged in the UAE. The conditions there might not differ drastically from India. Teams will be keen to build their squads keeping in mind the pitches at UAE. The second part of IPL 2021 may also throw up a few surprises. These players may stake a claim in the World Cup squad. A few dark horses are lingering who could well prove to be valuable additions to the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup.
StumpsandBails looks at 5 possible surprising additions to T20 World Cup India Squad:
#5 Devdutt Padikkal
Devdutt Padikkal had a stellar Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021. He scored more than 700 runs in the tournament. Padikkal scored big centuries in the competition. He carried on that form in the IPL too. Padikkal scored a blazing century against RR. His 101* was one of the batting highlights of IPL 2021. Padikkal radically improved his strike rate this season. He went from striking at 124.80 last year to 152.34 this season. Padikkal being a left-hander provides a great variety to any squad. He might just make the cut to India’s squad.
#4 Ravi Bishnoi
Ravi Bishnoi can well prove to be the joker in the pack for India at the T20 World Cup. India’s spin department wears a barren look as compared to other departments. None of the spinners except Rahul Chahar have inspired confidence. India might well look for a genuine surprise in the spin department. There is a possibility of Varun Chakravarthy’s inclusion but his fitness remains an issue. This opens up an opportunity for Bishnoi who is a fantastic fielder and boasts of a great fighting attitude. His economy rate of 6.18 in IPL 2021 has caught people’s attention. Bishnoi should surely be in the scheme of things.
#3 Harshal Patel
Harshal Patel has been nothing short of a revelation this season. The runaway purple cap holder already has 17 wickets in 7 games. His death bowling prowess has won him many laurels. Patel is mighty effective on tracks that stay low and slow. If the pitches in UAE wear out, then someone like Harshal Patel will be an ideal fit. His lower-order batting can add immense value to the Indian team. Don’t rule out his inclusion to the world T20 squad.
#2 Prithvi Shaw
Prithvi Shaw can do no wrong in 2021. He smashed 827 runs in 8 games in the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021. Shaw single-handedly led Mumbai to the title. He carried on his great form to IPL. Shaw has amassed 308 runs in the edition so far at an average of 38.50 and a mind-boggling strike rate of 166.48. He can destroy opponents in the powerplay itself as was evident in the game against KKR where he plundered 6 boundaries off the very first over. India needs an X-factor like Shaw in the mix. It will be fantastic viewing to see him partner Rohit Sharma at the top.
#1 Avesh Khan
Avesh Khan was India’s standout bowler in IPL 2021. He outperformed the class of Kagiso Rabada. Khan out bowled Ishant Sharma. He leapfrogged Umesh Yadav into the DC squad. Khan kept growing from strength to strength this season. He outfoxed the best in the business with his skill and guile. His ability to bowl searing Yorkers at the death made him a standout proposition. Khan can be a great value addition to the India T20 World Cup squad. The visual of him and Jasprit Bumrah nailing Yorkers at the death in tandem is mouthwatering.