Home > Features >

India squad for ICC World T20 2014: Selectors retain faith in Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina; pick raw pace attack

Yuvraj Singh will look to make his mark in ICC World T20 2014 © PTI
Yuvraj Singh will look to make his mark in ICC World T20 2014 © PTI

By Abhijit Banare

Just a day before the Indian Premier League  (IPL) auction, the selectors have decided to announce the squad for the marquee tournament preceding the IPL — ICC World T20 2014, which starts in March. To give a brief recap, India last played a Twenty20 International (T20I) match on October 10, 2013. For a country where the T20 format is a huge hit thanks to IPL has played only one T20 game in the year. And ahead of the World Cup, one wonders whether selectors had enough records to look at the performances. The core team of the squad remains the same.

Full Squad:

MS Dhoni (c&wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Stuart Binny, Amit Mishra, Mohit Sharma, Varun Aaron

 

The frontlineres

Going by T20 standards, Indians have one of the most explosive top three currently. With Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma followed by Virat Kohli, there is absolutely no worries for captain cool MS Dhoni. While Rohit and Dhawan have struggled with their form in recent matches, they will be back in their comfort zone of a subcontinent pitch, where the bounce is low and the ball comes onto the bat nicely. The duo have already shown what they are capable of when Rohit smashed a double hundred and Dhawan looked invincible since the ICC Champions Trophy 2013. With Kohli to follow, the top-order is stable for the Indians. And not to forget, the Indians will have enough practice with the Asia Cup being played just before the coveted tournament in Bangladesh.

Suresh Raina © Getty Images
Suresh Raina can be a valuable asset in the shortest format of the game © Getty Images

Selectors right in retaining Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina?

The biggest gamble undoubtedly remains the inclusion of two southpaws, Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh. Both have been excluded from the 50-over format for the Asia Cup. But the fact that they will play the World Cup means the selectors still feel that when it comes to the shortest format of the game, these two are valuable assets for the team. The selectors have taken the right step in retaining the duo. If we look at the ODI format, there is a Cheteshwar Pujara who can steady the innings, there is an Ambati Rayudu who too has proved his ability to be effective in the ODIs. But Pujara is certainly not the best fit for T20 format yet. And taking a chance with Rayudu would be too risky as an early failure puts a lot of doubt in Dhoni’s mind. And not to forget that Yuvraj still holds value with his bowling along with his aggressive batting.

Stuart Binny can be an effective all-rounder for India © PTI
Stuart Binny can turn out to an effective all-rounder for India © PTI

Plenty of all-rounders to pick from; Stuart Binny can prove his value

 

For long, India have cribbed about lacking a genuine all-rounder. But the T20 squad (also the Asia Cup one) gives Dhoni many options to choose from. The recent five-match ODI series against New Zealand has proved that Ravichandran Ashwin is a reliable all-rounder. With Ravindra Jadeja and Ashwin, India can go ahead with the regular options. But here’s why Stuart Binny is important. Yuvraj, Ashwin and Jadeja are all spin bowlers. But Binny can be an effective medium pace bowling option. Though he was under-utilised in the only ODI he played for India, the selectors are looking at Binny as a long-term all-round prospect. And considering the present situation, even if Yuvraj fails, Dhoni can quickly switch his selection to Binny. It looks like a flexible middle-order with plenty of bowling options to choose from.

And as always, Dhoni and his bulky bat is forever there for India’s rescue in the limited overs format.

Raw pace attack?

 

Here’s where the chink in the armour lies. While India have been known for their poor pace attack, but the squad might just be lacking one pacer. If we look at the present attack, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami are certain to lead the pace attack. But Varun Aaron and Mohit Sharma are just not experienced enough. Mohit though, has given breakthroughs in IPL. H could be the frontrunner for the third pacer’s slot, but the risk of him going for runs looms large.

As always, even if the pacers have gone for runs, the batsmen have covered it up consistently, especially in high-scoring matches in the subcontinent. Overall, it’s a balanced squad and except for the pace attack, India have the team to be the champions.

(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 4, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 5, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Leeds

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Sep 5, 2014 (19:30 IST)   at Kingstown, St Vincent

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 6, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 7, 2014 (19:30 IST)   at Birmingham

More

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 2, 2014  at Harare

Australia won by 62 runs

India tour of England 2014

Sep 2, 2014  at Birmingham

India won by 9 wkts

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 31, 2014  at Harare

Zimbabwe won by 3 wkts

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Dambulla

SL won by 7 wkts (D/L method)

India tour of England 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Nottingham

India won by 6 wkts

Photos

India vs England, 4th ODI at Edgbaston

Videos

Misbah disppointed with Pakistan's performance

Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan complete comprehensive series win for India with 9-wicket win in 4th ODI

Mitchell Marsh records highest strike rate in an ODI innings for Australia against South Africa

N Srinivasan faces a two-month wait as Mudgal commission prepares final report

Norman Gordon passes away at 103

Ishant Sharma: 10 facts you need to know about the towering Indian paceman

Australia Australia and South Africa in Zimbabwe 2014 Australia vs Zimbabwe England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan South Africa Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014 Zimbabwe vs Australia Zimbabwe vs Australia 2014

Amitabh Bachchan lashes out at Indian cricket fans

Alastair Cook vows to stay on as England captain despite ODI series loss against India

Ajinkya Rahane becomes first Indian opener to score an ODI hundred against England in England

VVS Laxman congratulates India on winning ODI series against England

Michael Clarke hamstring injury: Scan reveals some damage

14 greatest upsets in ODIs — Part 1

Faf du Plessis shows his grit with twin tons against Australia in Zimbabwe Triangular Series

India’s ODI series triumphs outside Asia — a statistical review

Cricket in Columbia: Rest of the World XI beat India XI

Sachin Tendulkar’s Playing It My Way: What cricket lovers would expect from his autobiography

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

628 Posts | 7 Fans

Thilan Samaraweera finds an unusual way to get stumped

Hrithik Roshan not doing Hollywood film Step Up 6?

Amitabh Bachchan lashes out at Indian cricket fans

NGOs pursue education for all

Opera Mini returns to Windows Phone, starts taking signups for beta testing

14 greatest upsets in ODIs — Part 1

What is endometriosis?

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Apple confirms accounts of Hollywood celebrities were compromised to access nude photos, refutes iCloud breach

Latest Ebola News: Death toll in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) reaches 31

Obhrai Announces Canadian Support For Bangladesh

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here