Sanju Samson in Indian squad for T20 World Cup

Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson has been in great form for Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2024. File photo: AFP/Sajjad Hussain

Kerala wicketkeeper-batter Sanju Samson has been included in the 15-member Indian squad for the upcoming ICC Twenty20 World Cup. Rohit Sharma has been named captain as the Men in Blue hope to regain the World Cup after a gap of 17 years.

Hardik Pandya has been named Rohit's deputy in the tournament to be held in the West Indies and the US from June 1. 

Rishabh Pant is the other wicketkeeper, while K L Rahul has been left out. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the squad after a meeting between secretary Jay Shah and chief selector Ajit Agarkar in Ahmedabad.

Pandya was retained as vice-captain despite his poor recent form after taking over Mumbai Indians leadership in the ongoing IPL.

K L Rahul
K L Rahul failed to make the cut. File photo: PTI/Atul Yadav

Sanju, who has had a good IPL both as a batter and captain for Rajasthan Royals, was included pipping the likes of Rahul and Ishan Kishan.

Hard-hitting batter Dube also made the cut on the back of a strong IPL showing.

Leg-spinner Chahal, who last played for India in August, 2023, is the second wrist spinner in the team alongside Kuldeep Yadav.

However, Shubman Gill found himself among the standbys along with the big-hitting Rinku Singh and pacers Avesh Khan and Khaleel Ahmed.

The selectors decided to show faith in Yashasvi Jaiswal, who had a slow start in the IPL but regained his touch recently for Rajasthan Royals

The top-order consists of Rohit, Jaiswal, Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav. Pandya and Dube are the seam-bowling all-rounders, while Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel are the spin-bowling all-rounders.

Jasprit Bumrah is the pace spearhead with Mohammed Siraj and Arshdeep Singh for company. 

India, who won the inaugural edition under M S Dhoni in 2007, open their campaign against Ireland on June 5 followed by the big game against Pakistan on June 9. The US and Canada are the other teams in Group A.

The top two teams in each of the four groups will move to a Super Eight phase, where the teams will be split into two groups of four. The top two in each group will qualify for the semifinals.

Indian squad: Rohit Sharma (capt), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Sanju Samson (wk), Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya (vice-capt), Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Arshdeep Singh, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal.

Reserves: Shubman Gill, Rinku Singh, Khaleel Ahmed, Avesh Khan.

(With inputs from PTI)

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