India are clearly the number one favourites to lift the T20I World cup this time . All their players are fit and fine and are on song having played recently in the IPL in UAE . Moreover they are well acquainted with the conditions and pitches which will be an advantage for them over other teams . Moreover , the players showed encouraging form in the 2 warm up games against two formidable teams England and Australia and beat both of them without breaking a sweat .
And as Steve Smith later said “India are a terrific side. They’ve got all bases covered and some serious match winners. India Favourites to win T20 World Cup.”
Indeed India has all bases covered . A serious batting lineup with embarrassment of riches, good fast bowling group and excellent set of spinners to take advantage of the assisting tracks of UAE .
It is certain that Rohit and Rahul will open for India with Kohli batting at three . This means one of Suryakumar Yadav or Ishan Kishan will play in the middle order and Ishan by the way is kept as the reserve opener . In all probably Pant will come at 5 and Hardik 6 to utilise his hitting prowess followed by Jadeja at 7 and the bowlers .
The pace department has been strengthened within the last minute swap between Shardul and Axar Patel , who was in the original squad and the spin department looks ominous with Varun , Rahul Chahar , Ashwin and allrounder Ravindra Jadeja .
India’s only bone of contention is the availability of Hardik Pandya as a bowler . Hardik after his back injury has not bowled more recently in the IPL and his batting looked scratchy. That’s is the reason why Shardul has been swapped with Axar from the reserves. However Shadul also is needed to bowl more tidily and not to leak easy runs .
Bhuvneshwar Kumar , who was going through patchy form lately finally looked his own in the Australia warm up game which is another good news for India .
At the toss of the Australia warm up match Rohit Sharma has indicated and he , Surya and Virat has been turning on their arms at the nets. Virat also bowled a 2 tidy overs in Australia match.
With a strong character like MS Dhoni being part of the dressing room as the mentor to support Virat Kohli in his swansong as T20I captain , this Indian side has got a framework which should allow them to get their 2nd T20I World title
The probable India XI should be as under:
Rohit, Rahul , Virat , Surya , Pant , Hardik , Jadeja , Varun , Bhuvneshwar , Shami , Bumrah
Full squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami
Reserves: Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Axar Patel
Mentor: MS Dhoni