Yuzvendra Chahal and Shivam Dube were notable inclusions as India announced its 15-member provisional squad for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024.

The team, announced by BCCI on Tuesday, will be led by Rohit Sharma with Hardik Pandya as the vice-captain.

Leggie Chahal, ignored for India’s recent T20 assignments, was picked on the strength of good returns for Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) season. Chahal is the only right-arm spinner in the squad, with southpaws Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav forming the rest of the spin attack.

Jasprit Bumrah, Arshdeep Singh and Mohammed Siraj were the specialist pacers.

Lucknow Super Giants skipper K.L. Rahul and Royal Challengers Bengaluru’s (RCB’s) Dinesh Karthik were among the notable omissions. Karthik had harboured hopes of making the bus, after finding good form as a finisher for RCB.

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Shubman Gill lost out on the opener slot to Yashasvi Jaiswal. Gill and lower-order batter Rinku Singh were named in the reserves.

Rinku gave way to Dube, who has shown a penchant for big hits, and can provide a steady seam bowling option.

The tournament marks the international comeback of wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant. Pant, who last donned an India cap in December 2022, was forced into a long layoff after suffering a car accident.

The 26-year-old has proved his worth in IPL 2024, making vital contributions with the bat for Delhi Capitals (DC) and showing athleticism with the ‘keeping gloves.

RR captain and fan favourite Sanju Samson is the second gloveman. Samson has shone bright for RR, batting at a strike rate of 161.08 with an average of 77.

The selectors have kept their faith in Virat Kohli, who, in recent times, has been criticised for not keeping a high strike rate. Kohli had dismissed these concerns after an unbeaten 44-ball 70 for RCB against Gujarat Titans on Sunday, stating that “it is just about winning the game for the team.”

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Trust has also been placed on Pandya, who has struggled in his maiden season as Mumbai Indians captain. Pandya has failed with both bat and ball and has faced the ire of MI fans who are unhappy with him replacing Rohit as the MI skipper.

India commences its World Cup campaign against Ireland on June 5 at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium (New York), followed by the highly-anticipated clash against Pakistan on June 9 at the same venue. India then takes on the USA and Canada on June 12 and 15 respectively.