As cricket fans around the world get ready for another season of the IPL, Indian selectors will have their eyes on the performances of national team hopefuls. The T20 World Cup will take place later this year with every player on the fringes of Team India trying their best to book a spot.
For a country as involved in the game, India will be itching to add another T20 World Cup to their cabinet. All the more astonishing is the fact that India has never won a T20 World Cup since the inception of the IPL.
Initially, there were issues related to injuries and cricketers adjusting to the format. Of late, however, players have made the best use of the IPL and presented a good case for themselves for national selection. Examples include the Pandya brothers, Jasprit Bumrah, Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan.
IPL helps the team management identify players who suit their requirements. For the upcoming T20 World Cup, Indian fast bowling and middle order seem to be settled more or less but there are areas which still need some looking after.
3 ways in which IPL 2021 can help India in preparing for 2021 ICC T20 World Cup
1. Opening back-ups
With Rohit Sharma picking himself in one of the two opening spots, and Virat Kohli revealing that he will continue to open in T20Is, India have their opening combination set for the World Cup. At the same time, they would like to have a strong back-up option.
KL Rahul couldn't really get going in the last few T20 Internationals for India but remains a strong option given his talent and record. An IPL similar to the last one (he was the highest run-getter with 670 runs), albeit at a better strike-rate, can push his case.
The very talented Prithvi Shaw of Delhi Capitals could be an option too if he carries on his Vijay Hazare trophy form. And there's always Ishan Kishan, who gave a splendid performance on his debut for India.
In terms of all-round talent, this is a happy time for Indian cricket. India have a solid collection of spin-bowling as well as pace-bowling all-rounders. They have a good mixture of batting and bowling all-rounders too. Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja and Shardul Thakur can all contribute with both bat and ball.
The tough call would be in terms of selecting the ideal all-rounder depending upon conditions. Youngsters like Washington Sundar, Rahul Tewatia, Shivam Dube etc. can look at the IPL as a potential option to express themselves in the best manner possible.
Another important area where they can use the IPL would be to fine-tune their fitness and showcase their fielding skills.
Yuzvendra Chahal was a regular in the T20Is not long ago. But the spin-twins of Kuldeep Yadav and Chahal have fallen down the pecking order recently and India have now started looking at other options.
While Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav will try to get some favorable returns to boost their chances, they will face stiff competition from others.
Varun Chakravarthy will be raring to go after missing out on international experience. Rahul Chahar will try to continue performing well for Mumbai Indians. Ravichandran Ashwin will hope to showcase his improved white-ball ability and leadership skills to get himself in.
Axar Patel is another option India can look at for the World Cup, especially with the increased importance of all-rounders in the format.