Then and now: Spot the difference between India’s sides for T20 World Cups in 2021 and 2022


India announced their 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup, scheduled to be held in Australia in the months of October and November. After crashing out of the group stages in the last edition of the tournament in UAE, there was much anticipation about what the Indian combination would look like under the era of captain Rohit Sharma.

However, once the announcement came out on September 12, it looked like India had retained the majority of the line-up from the last World Cup team, making only minor changes to their preferred combination. This came in direct contrast with the approach that the new Indian team has been trying to emulate, giving young Indian players a shot in the bilaterals throughout the world.

India retained their complete top order that played in the World Cup last year. The team still features Rohit Sharma, now the captain of the side, alongside Virat Kohli and KL Rahul. The bowling attack sees the return of Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel from injury.

India Squad for T20 World Cup 2022

Rohit Sharma (captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya, R. Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Arshdeep Singh

The team has made significant changes in the spin department, and on that note, here’s a detailed look at the differences between the Indian squad for the 2021 and 2022 World Cup.

Deepak Hooda in for Ishan Kishan

Indian batting all-rounder Deepak Hooda has been given a much deserved place in the squad after his stellar performances throughout the year. This in a way marks the pinnacle for Deepak Hooda’s journey in Indian cricket over the last couple of years. Once a problem child for Baroda cricket where he quit a domestic tournament midway after falling out with Krunal Pandya, Hooda has now turned his career around with significant contributions to his Indian Premier League and national team.

Ishan Kishan, after a string of poor performances, makes way for the right-hander.

Dinesh Karthik in for Ravindra Jadeja

Indian all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja has been forced out of the T20 World Cup owing to a knee injury. India have changed their combination and brought in a specialist finisher in his position. Dinesh Karthik has found a place in the main squad after his resurgence in the IPL and then playing impressive knocks in national colors in his niche role.

Harshal Patel in for Varun Chakravarthy

After spending the 2021 World Cup as a net bowler, death over specialist Harshal Patel looks set to play the 2022 World Cup. Considering that the tournament is going to be played in Australia, India have changed their entire spin bowling attack from last edition. Mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy has fallen down the order after failing to make an impact for India, as well as his IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders, and now finds himself nowhere near the radar of the Indian side.

Yuzvendra Chahal in for Rahul Chahar

Possibly the biggest exclusion for the 2021 World Cup, Yuzvendra Chahal has proven himself once again. Since the drop, Chahal has fired in all cylinders, first for his IPL franchise, Rajasthan Royals and then for India. In the IPL 2022, Chahal scalped 27 wickets, while Chahar only managed to pick only 14.

Arshdeep Singh in for Mohammad Shami

Surely, the call for this World Cup. Mohammad Shami has been falling down the pecking order for a while now, with the rise of specialist T20 bowlers like Harshal Patel and Arshdeep Singh. While there was a case to be made for Shami in Australia, the selectors have trusted their young stars to come good in Australian conditions. Shami will be a part of the Indian team, but this time only as a stand-by for the main 15-member squad.

For better or for worse?

India had a great time after the shift of T20I captaincy under Rohit Sharma. A forced call after the T20 World Cup debacle last year, India looked for a fresh approach and who else could they have turned to but the most successful IPL captain of all time. India enjoyed a tremendous time under his captaincy, but the honeymoon period seemed to have come to an end in the Asia Cup 2022.

Credit must be given to the selectors for not making any panic calls after the premature finish to the tournament and one can say that while India might have retained the majority of their previous squad, they could go on and potentially play with a very different approach in Australia this time around.

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