India announced their 15-member squad for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 on Wednesday, 8 September, with off-spinner R Ashwin making a return to the white-ball squad and MS Dhoni being announced as team mentor.
Jay Shah the BCCI Honorary Secretary revealed the thinking behind appointing Dhoni, the former India captain who led the side to the inaugural T20 World Cup trophy.
"As far as Dhoni is concerned, I spoke to him when I was in Dubai," said Shah. "He was okay with the decision, and he agreed to be a mentor for team India, for the T20 World Cup only.
"I spoke to the captain (Virat Kohli) and vice-captain (Rohit Sharma) as well as Ravi Shastri (the head coach), and that’s why we reached the conclusion."
India T20 World Cup squad
15-member squad for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021
Virat Kohli (c)
Rishabh Pant (wk)
Ishan Kishan (wk)
|Stand-by: Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur|
The big news, however, was the return of Ashwin. The off-spinner last played limited-overs cricket in 2017 for India, after which he was restricted to Test cricket.
Since then, the likes of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal seemed to be the preferred options for India in limited-overs cricket, but along with leg-spinner Rahul Chahar and mystery spinner Varun, both have been dropped from the 15-man squad. Chakraborty is building the team. The other player left out was opener Shikhar Dhawan, who captained India in a limited-overs series in Sri Lanka in July.
Ishan Kishan, who is a substitute as an opener besides being a middle-order promoter, and Suryakumar Yadav were both included in the squad, while India picked up three specialist all-rounders in Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, and Axar Patel. Chosen. Left-arm spinning all-rounder Krunal Pandya missed.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, and Jasprit Bumrah makes the squad as frontline pacers.