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IND vs SA 2022: 3 players India might have mistakenly picked in the T20 World Cup squad

5th T20 International: India v South Africa
Yuzvendra Chahal scalped two wickets in the T20I series against Australia

Despite their 2-1 win over second-string Australia, Team India saw several problems crop up over the course of the three-match series.

Setting totals has become a real concern for the Men in Blue, while the less said about death bowling, the better. Key men like Harshal Patel and Jasprit Bumrah returned from injuries to deliver unconvincing performances, while others like KL Rahul started well but couldn't capitalize.

The T20 World Cup is drawing near, with only three T20Is against South Africa standing between India and the marquee ICC event. While changes to the announced squads are still allowed, Rohit Sharma and Co. are unlikely to tinker too much with the 15 that have been named.

Keeping the team's display against Australia in mind, here are three players India might have mistakenly picked in the T20 World Cup squad.


#3 Deepak Hooda

England v India - 1st Vitality IT20
England v India - 1st Vitality IT20

Deepak Hooda is expected to miss the T20I series against South Africa with back spasms, and Shreyas Iyer has been named as his replacement. It remains to be seen whether either player finds a place in India's final T20 World Cup squad, but as of now there are serious questions over whether picking Hooda was the right call.

Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli are all undroppable, and the success of Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya has also pushed India into a corner as far as the top five are concerned. Hooda's ideally used at the top of the order, and while he provides a bowling option, he may not offer anything significant given Axar Patel's good form.

If India needed a backup batter, they could've either gone with a left-hander like Ishan Kishan or Rishabh Pant or someone as versatile and dynamic as Sanju Samson. Hooda has done nothing wrong; in fact, he's been exceptional at the start of his international career. But he may not be a great fit for India's T20 World Cup squad due to the composition of the playing XI.


#2 Bhuvneshwar Kumar

England v India - 2nd Vitality IT20
England v India - 2nd Vitality IT20

Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been one of India's best pacers in T20I cricket over the last year. Putting his injury woes behind him, the swing bowler has consistently provided breakthroughs in the powerplay. But his form has tapered off of late, and he may not be effective in Australia irrespective of the form he's in.

Both in the Asia Cup and in the T20I series against Australia, Bhuvneshwar struggled at the death. His quota of overs needs to be completed early in the innings, and that isn't possible if there's no movement on offer in the powerplay. The variations that used to make Bhuvi effective, like the knuckle ball and the cutters, have lost their potency too.

Will Bhuvneshwar be successful Down Under? It's unlikely, and his recent form has suggested that he's fatiguing as well. The rest he gets in the upcoming weeks could revive him, but India might need a different style of bowler - or at least someone who offers something with the bat like Deepak Chahar - instead of the veteran pacer.


#1 Yuzvendra Chahal

England v India - 2nd Royal London Series One Day International
England v India - 2nd Royal London Series One Day International

With two wickets at an economy rate of 9.12, Yuzvendra Chahal did nothing of note against Australia. In the Asia Cup, barring a three-wicket haul against Sri Lanka, the experienced leggie endured a disappointing tournament. Even over the last two years, he boasts an unimpressive T20I record.

Chahal's refusal to vary his pace often enough has been the biggest reason behind his downfall. His traditional style of bowling isn't really effective in T20I cricket anymore, as evidenced by the success of other leg-spinners like Adam Zampa, Wanindu Hasaranga and Rashid Khan.

When India have such a capable alternative in Ravi Bishnoi in the reserves, they need not stick with Chahal. Ravichandran Ashwin, who guarantees four economical overs and a few handy runs, could also be picked ahead of the veteran leg-spinner in the playing XI.

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Edited by Sai Krishna
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