On Sunday, India announced the much awaited squad for the T20I series against South Africa which starts next month. The news was widely awaited as everyone wanted to know which players from the on-going IPL 2022 have been rewarded. Much like every time, the selection committee has once again come under the scanner for leaving out a certain set of players and including those the viewers think were not worthy of being in the team.
Before we list the major talking points from the squad selection, let’s take a look at the full squad.
KL Rahul (C), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik.
Major talking points
Umran Malik gets a call-up
Umran Malik grabbed eyeballs in IPL 2021, when he got a chance to play for the Sunrisers Hyderabad after T Natarajan was injured. Although he played just three matches from which he picked up two wickets, his raw pace took everyone by surprise. He bowled two of his deliveries at a speed of over 150kmph, which helped him get retained for the ongoing season. This season too, he took home several ‘fastest delivery of the match’ awards. With impressive performances both in IPL 2021 and 2022, the young pacer from Jammu & Kashmir has received a well-deserved call-up.
Arshdeep Singh, who was Punjab’s best death bowler this IPL, has also been rewarded with a call-up. The 23-year-old ended his IPL campaign with 10 wickets and an economy rate of 7.70. Arshdeep, who has previously been with the Indian Team as a net bowler, is known for his yorkers.
Dinesh Karthik returns
Dinesh Karthik has made a return to the Indian T20I squad for the first time since 2019 after putting up several impressive performances in IPL 2022. He averaged 57.40 at a strike rate of 191.33 in the league games to earn a return to the Indian team after three years. The wicketkeeper batsman’s last appearance for India came in the 2019 World Cup semi-final against New Zealand.
“A lot of credit must go to the selectors, Rohit (Sharma) and (Rahul) Dravid, because these days you have so many young boys putting up their hands for selection… to see the skillset that is there and to believe that this is the guy we need for the (T20) World Cup, it is a very, very humbling feeling,” Karthik told reporters after being named in the squad.
Rahul Tripathi, Sanju Samson excluded
The selectors have received a lot of flak for excluding Rahul Tripathi and Sanju Samson from the squad – two players who have performed consistently well in the IPL over the last few seasons. Tripathi, playing for the Sunrisers Hyderabad, finished the 2022 season with 413 runs at an average of 37.55 and strike rate of 158.24. His overall average (28.09) and strike rate (140.80) in 76 IPL matches is also impressive.
Samson, meanwhile, has been the backbone of Rajasthan Royals’ batting line-up over the last few seasons. Earlier, he was left out of the squad for the series against Australia and Sri Lanka in 2020 and 2021. This time, he has been left out of the series against South Africa despite averaging 30.07 at a strike rate of over 150 in the ongoing IPL.
The big names rested
Former captain Virat Kohli and current captain Rohit Sharma have been rested from the series to manage their workload after a long season of the IPL. In Rohit’s absence, KL Rahul has been named the captain.