India have announced their 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup 2021. Ravichandran Ashwin has been included in the squad in the absence of injured Washington Sundar. Ashwin last played a T20I in 2017 against West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica. The offspinner was part of the T20 World Cup in 2016 in which he picked four wickets from five matches.
Overall, Ashwin has picked up 52 wickets from 46 T20Is for India with an economy rate of 6.97.
Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan and Varun Chakravarthy have been included in the side as well, while Shreyas Iyer, fast bowlers Shardul Thakur and Deepak Chahar have been included in the standby list. Suryakumar and Ishan Kishan made their debuts in the series against England at home earlier this year and also went on to play in the white-ball series against Sri Lanka, where Chakravarthy made his debut.
Among those not considered include opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan, leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and all-rounder Krunal Pandya. The trio were part of the limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka recently, with Dhawan leading the side in all six matches.
Also, former India captain MS Dhoni will mentor the side for the T20 World Cup, BCCI secretary Jay Shah has confirmed.
The T20 World Cup is set to begin on October 17, two days after the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 final, starting with the qualifying matches. But the Super 12 stage will only commence from October 23 with the match between Australia and South Africa in Abu Dhabi.
The tournament was initially to be held in India, but due to the prevailing Covid-19 cases in the country, it was shifted to the UAE and Oman, with the hosting rights still remaining with the BCCI. India will take on arch-rivals Pakistan in their first match of the mega event on October 24 in Dubai. They will also play New Zealand, Afghanistan and the two qualifying teams as well as part of their Super 12 matches.
The ICC had earlier given permission for all teams to include a maximum of 30 members including support staff for big tournaments such as this.
India squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami.
Standby players: Shreyas Iyer, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar.