File photo of KL Rahul© AFP

The India squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2024 is here and the 15-member squad was filled with surprise exclusions. KL Rahul was the biggest name to miss out completely as the selectors went for Sanju Samson and Rishabh Pant as the specialist wicket-keeper options. In the recent past, Rahul was considered as an option that provides a lot of flexibility to the side as he can open the batting, play as a wicket-keeper and slot in the middle-order too. However, the selectors have opted for two specialist wicket-keepers with Hardik Pandya and Shivam Dube potentially playing as the middle-order batting options who can also work as explosive finishers if the situation demands.

Meanwhile, Shubman Gill and Rinku Singh were also not included in the 15-member list. While both cricketers did find a place in the reserves list, it means that they will only make the squad in case of an injury or a change in strategy. Gill has been a top performer for the Indian cricket team in the past one year across formats while Rinku was hailed as the finisher that India longed for due to his sensational form in IPL 2023. However, the emergence of new talents and a shift in team dynamics led to both cricketers missing out on their spot in the squad with the selectors opting for more specialised options.

Both Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan were completely ignored by the selectors after the duo were not awarded central contracts by BCCI. Both cricketers have also not set the stage on fire in the ongoing IPL 2024 and their reluctance to play domestic cricket in the past also did not help their cause.

Coming to the spin department, Kuldeep Yadav was always the preferred option but the return of Yuzvendra Chahal meant that there was no place for the youngster Ravi Bishnoi.

Among the pacers, Jasprit Bumrah was the only name that everyone was sure about and the inclusion of Mohammed Siraj and Arshdeep Singh closed the door on other prospects. T Natarajan and Sandeep Sharma were the names that were being discussed but the duo did not even find a place in the reverses. Avesh Khan and Khaleel Ahmed were included in the 5-member reserve squad.

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