Saturday, February 6, 2016

Negi, Shami in India's Squad for Asia Cup and ICC WT20 2016

India announced their 15 man squad for the T20 Asia Cup and the ICC WT20 2016 yesterday and there were no major surprises that were in store for the fans waiting for the squad to be unveiled.

Virat Kohli is back after being rested for the Sri Lanka T20I's replacing Manish Pandey while injured pacer Mohammed Shami comes in place of Bhubaneswar Kumar. Kohli was a natural choice but who he will replace was not such an easy question to answer. Manish Pandey had hit that glorious ton to win India the final ODI down under after Rahane had missed the series due to an injury. The fact that Rahane is an experienced batsmen and he can bat either in the middle order or play as an opener if required in case Dhawan does not fire gave him that extra edge. Pandey is unlucky to miss out but he is young and his time in the sun will surely come.

Shami over Bhuvi was a much more surprising move as the injured pacer last played for India in the ICC World Cup 2015 but has been on the side lines since being plagued by injuries. There is very little to choose between the two but with Bhuvi losing his swing in the recent times must surely have gone against him. In any case, Shami might not yet make the squad as he may not be fully fit in time so Bhuvi might still be in with a chance if he performs well in the Sri Lanka T20I series.

The left arm spinner Pawan Negi keeps his place and it is his peppy lower order batting exploits along with the fact that he can be a handy spinner that must have gone in his favour. In the Syed Mustaq Ali Trophy he slammed 173 runs at a strike rate of 173 and for the Chennai Super Kings in the last IPL he had belted crucial runs down the order at a strike rate almost touching 160. It will be interesting to see if Negi actually gets a game as India already have Jadeja, Ashwin and Bhajji.

For once the Chairmen of Selectors, Sandeep Patil, had an easy time announcing the squad as any selector has when the team is winning. This Indian team defeated Australia 3-0 and seems well settled and a Fantastico unit especially in home conditions. These 15 men will carry the hopes of the whole nation and playing at home in the World Cup will be an honour for them. I feel that India is the front-runner for winning the trophy this time because it looks a fine tuned machine with all its nuts and bolts in place and humming noiselessly.

India T20 Squad for the ICC WT20 and Asia Cup:

MS Dhoni (capt. & wk), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Ashish Nehra, Harbhajan Singh, Mohammed Shami, Pawan Negi.

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

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