No Rinku Singh, Sanju Samson, Shubman Gill as Mohammad Kaif picks T20 World Cup squad for Team India
Image: Chandan Khanna / AFP

T20 World Cup 2024: In a bizarre selection move, former Team India cricketer Mohammad Kaif has voiced the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup 2024 of his liking. The cricketer-turned-commentator has sidelined the likes of Rinku Singh, Sanju Samson and Shubman Gill for the global event in the Caribbean and the USA.

It’s noteworthy that most of the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup 2024 is already finalised, however, there are a few selections to be made by Ajit Agarkar-led selection committee.

The race for the position of the wicketkeeper’s role is still on with many players in the fray. The likes of Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson, Jitesh Sharma, KL Rahul and Dinesh Karthik are all under the watch.

Moreover, the place for the spinner, besides Kuldeep Yadav, is yet to be confirmed. Yuzvendra Chahal, who is currently leading the purple cap in the IPL 2024, is in the fray for the role alongside Axar Patel and others. Then there is also a debate for the third seamer position.

Battling out all these selection conundrums, Mohammad Kaif while speaking on Star Sports picked his final squad for team India in the upcoming T20 World Cup 2024.

Brushing aside the probabilities of Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan at the top order, he picked left-handed batter Yashasvi Jaiswal to open alongside skipper Rohit Sharma. The third and fourth spots were taken by Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav respectively.

Mohammad Kaif sidelines Rinku Singh, Samson in World Cup squad

No Rinku Singh, Sanju Samson, Shubman Gill as Mohammad Kaif picks T20 World Cup squad for Team India
Rinku Singh

In a weird move, he picked all-rounder Hardik Pandya in the fifth place followed by wicketkeeper batter Rishabh Pant at six. To give a decent depth to the Indian batting unit, Kaif selected Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel as his all-rounder options.

As a lead spinner, Kaif shortlisted Kuldeep Yadav, who has been in decent form in the IPL 2024. To complete the pace bowling outfit, he named India’s ace pacer Jasprit Bumrah alongside Arshdeep Singh as his two selections for the T20 World Cup 2024.

“Yashasvi Jaiswal will open alongside Rohit Sharma. Then Virat Kohli at No. 3, Suryakumar Yadav at No. 4, Hardik Pandya at No. 5, and Rishabh Pant at No. 6,” Kaif said on Star Sports.

“I will keep a lot of all-rounders because you need batting depth. So I will say Axar Patel at No. 7 and Ravindra Jadeja at No. 8. After that, Kuldeep Yadav, who is a skilful bowler, at No. 9. Then two fast bowlers – Jasprit Bumrah and Arshdeep Singh. That makes it your XI,” Kaif explained.

Notably, there was no mention of Rinku Singh in the finisher’s role in the Indian side as Mohammad Kaif picked Shivam Dube as a finisher in the side. Moreover, as a backup spinner, he overlooked the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin and named Yuzvendra Chahal, who has been bowling superbly in the IPL 2024.

“If I talk about the squad, you will take one more spinner. I feel you will have to keep Chahal. He brings the option of a leg-spinner. Ashwin went last time. He is not taking that many wickets this time (in the IPL). I believe Chahal is a very good bowler in those conditions where the ball will turn,” he reasoned.

“Then I will go with Shivam Dube. He is in great form and plays spin splendidly. He drives the game very well after six overs. I will take Riyan Parag’s name. He is playing exceptionally well and deserves to be in the squad. That makes it 14, plus I will take Mohammed Siraj’s name. Although he is not in form, he is an experienced bowler and has a fantastic overall record,” Kaif elaborated.

Team India’s T20 World Cup Squad by Kaif

Rohit Sharma, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah Arshdeep Singh, Shivam Dube, Riyan Parag, Yuzvendra Chahal.

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