Samson, Chahal and Dube in T20 World Cup squad; Rahul, Rinku omitted

Rohit Sharma will captain the team, with Hardik Pandya serving as the vice-captain. (Source:

On Monday, former chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar told RevSportz that the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup should be picked on fitness and form. A day later, the Ajit Agarkar-led selection committee adhered to that, picking a squad on expected lines.

The 15-member squad for the tournament in the United States and the Caribbean offered a mini-surprise with Rinku Singh’s omission, but he has been kept among the reserves. But both Sanju Samson and Shivam Dube have been picked on the basis of their performances in the ongoing IPL. Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, too, has been included. Shubman Gill missed out, but Rishabh Pant, as expected, returned to the Indian team fold. Rohit Sharma will lead the squad that will have Virat Kohli’s experience at the top.

The squad was announced after the selection meeting in Ahmedabad on Tuesday. It lasted for around an hour and a half, with the majority of the team picking itself. The squad has four specialist batsmen, two wicketkeeper-batsmen, four all-rounders, two specialist spinners and three fast bowlers.


As the selectors met, the biggest talking point was the second wicketkeeper-batsman. The Indian team management had invested in Jitesh Sharma over the last one year. KL Rahul, too, was in contention. But Samson’s current form has been rewarded. The Rajasthan Royals captain has so far scored 385 runs in nine matches at a strike-rate of 161.08 in this IPL. Up until now, Samson has failed to bridge the gap between the IPL and T20Is. This is his big challenge. Also, he bats at No. 3 for Royals and it needs to be seen if he can be used as a back-end finisher at the World Cup.

Chahal, in terrific form with 13 wickets from nine matches for Royals, has trumped his nearest rival, Ravi Bishnoi. He last played for India in T20Is against the West Indies in August last year. The leggie will partner Kuldeep Yadav at the World Cup.

Dube’s 350 runs and 172-plus strike-rate for Chennai Super Kings have clearly influenced the selectors despite him not bowling a single over in this IPL. Rinku, on the other hand, might feel unlucky, as he was groomed as India’s designated finisher in the shortest format in the last one year. The left-hander averages 89 and has a strike-rate of 176.23 in 15 T20Is. 

The selectors, meanwhile, have hit speculation over Kohli and his strike-rate for a six.

India will open their T20 World Cup campaign against Ireland on June 5 in New York. The game against Pakistan is on June 9.

Squad: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Hardik Pandya (Vice Captain), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (WK), Sanju Samson (WK), Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Siraj.

Reserves – Shubman Gill, Rinku Singh, Khaleel Ahmed and Avesh Khan