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IPL 2022: Fringe Indian players who will be keen to impress

Last updated on 21 Mar 2022 | 09:26 AM
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IPL 2022: Fringe Indian players who will be keen to impress

Ahead of the 2022 T20 World Cup, India have heavy competition with two or three players vying for each spot

The Indian team had a bad 2021 T20 World Cup by the standards they'd set over the past decade. They played the most number of T20s since the 2016 World Cup at home and had won 47 out of the 72 they had played before the showpiece event in Oman and United Arab Emirates. But losing to Pakistan and New Zealand made the rest of the campaign irrelevant as they were knocked out in the Super 12 phase.

The 2022 World Cup in Australia is not far away, but India have a fresh look -- a new captain, new coaching staff and a whole bunch of players who have made their mark in the international scene since the 2021 debacle. There is a sense of solidity to their core group when it comes to picking the squad for the T20 World Cup despite the glut of injuries to the important ones in the past two months. If Rohit Sharma and the team management are to go with a 15-player squad for Australia, it might look something like this.

KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Venkatesh Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel.

However, a strong line-up as such will lead to a heated debate among pundits and fans considering the recent exploits from the players who have either been on the back burner for some time or the ones who are looking to break through to the national team. The Indian Premier League 2022 starting from the end of this month, will give the selectors some more food for thought ahead of the World Cup. We look at those players who will hope to make something out of the forthcoming edition of the T20 extravaganza.

Prithvi Shaw 

The Mumbaikar has had a wild swing with his form in the last year as he piled up runs in domestic competitions such as the Vijay Hazare Trophy, but managed only 107 runs from five matches in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 while his form dipped considerably in the second leg of IPL 2021. However, he has to compete with the likes of KL Rahul, skipper Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad who finished with the orange cap in IPL 2021. 

Ruturaj Gaikwad

The Pune batter's stock has been on the rise since the last two years as finished with the orange cap in last year's edition with an average of 45.3 and 635 runs as Chennai Super Kings lifted the title. He has also piled on runs for Maharashtra in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy with three fifties from five matches. Despite playing just one T20I and being ruled out of the Sri Lanka series due to an injury, Gaikwad is in strong contention to be named among reserves with India having three mainstream opening options in Rahul, Rohit and Kishan.

Sanju Samson

Often called out for his waning effectiveness in every IPL season, the Rajasthan Royals captain answered in style with 484 runs from 14 innings in IPL 2021 at an average of 40 which included a century and two fifties. He averaged 75.67 in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy with three fifties in his 226 runs from seven innings. Samson has the utility factor to play anywhere in the middle and top-order, but the competition he faces is a tall one. Rohit, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav for the specialist batter role and Rahul, Kishan and Pant as the wicketkeepers.

Deepak Hooda

The allrounder had a good showing in the recent home series against Sri Lanka and is a reliable bet in the lower middle order. But with Ravindra Jadeja and Venkatesh Iyer in pole position as the team's all-rounders, Hooda's chances of making it to the squad look bleak with India likely to field two spin options in their playing XI in the World Cup.

Varun Chakravarthy

This is where it gets tricky. The Tamil Nadu spinner was a part of the 2021 World Cup squad due to the mystery he brings with his spin, but has been struggling with recurring injuries for quite some time. Its mostly a question of Varun being fit for the tournament than his utility as the team's spin option. It remains to be seen if he can keep up with the rigours of the IPL and then be ready for the World Cup.

Washington Sundar

Another Tamil Nadu spinner struggling with an injury, Washington has a big competition to overcome the competition from Jadeja, Chahal and Chakravarthy to be able to feature in the line up which is likely to lay emphasis on the team's pace arsenal Down Under. The off spinner has the ability to bat, as he batted in the top order for Tamil Nadu and in the TNPL, but with Jadeja offering the best of both, Washington likely needs chart-topping performances in the IPL to be considered for a spot.

Rahul Chahar

It's been a lukewarm period for the legspinner after a superb 2021 where he claimed a combined haul of 24 wickets in 16 matches in the IPL and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. That earned him to ticket to the T20 World Cup in the UAE where he played against Namibia and finished with figures of 1-30 but he has been sidelined ever since. He has a lot of competition to go through in the Indian side which has too many spin options to board the flight to Australia.

Deepak Chahar 

Too many things suggest that Deepak Chahar will be a part of the squad that will go to Australia and competition for places is also not the factor when it comes to the pacer. However, he will be coming late into IPL 2022, if at all that happens, after suffering a quadricep tear. Whether he will be fit enough to play the latter stages of IPL without the threat of an injury could decide his World Cup chances.

Mohammed Shami

Yes, it's a cop-out to consider Shami a secondary option to any one in the Indian pace arsenal, but the Bengal pacer has been mostly considered for the longer formats these days. It's batting ability of Thakur, the variations of Harshal Patel which could see him nudged out of the squad. He is in no competition with the pace and effectiveness of Bumrah and Siraj, but the indispensability of the duo across all formats could force the selectors to sideline Shami for the big tournament.

Avesh Khan

It's hard to look past Avesh Khan as the future of Indian pace battery after a break out IPL 2021 where he claimed 24 wickets from 16 games. It got him a promotion to the Indian side for the West Indies and Sri Lanka playing XI after spending his time in the dressing room as a reserve player. But with too many performers who have proved themselves on the Australian pitches, Avesh might struggle to make the cut.

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