Zaheer Khan names his India squad for the 2021 T20 World Cup; leaves out Shikhar Dhawan, Kuldeep Yadav

Bhuvneshwar Kumar isn't a certainty in Zaheer's lineup.

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Zaheer Khan
Zaheer Khan. (Photo Source: Instagram)

Former Indian cricketer Zaheer Khan named his version of Team India’s squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup later this year in the UAE. The retired left-arm pacer named a star-studded 15-member squad and didn’t include Shikhar Dhawan, who recently led the Men in Blue in the three-match T20I series in Sri Lanka. India lost the series 1-2 after taking a 1-0 lead.

Zaheer picked Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul as the two openers followed by Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav in the middle order. The veteran said that if Hardik Pandya doesn’t bowl, then India should opt for an extra bowler instead of a batter.

Zaheer Khan opines

“I will open with KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma. Virat and Surya will follow them. I know Virat has made the statement that he wants to open the innings. But I would still say that Virat only opens in case Hardik is not available to bowl. In that scenario, you can sacrifice one batsman and get an extra bowler,” Zaheer told on Cricbuzz.

Among the wrist-spinners, Zaheer went for the leg-spin duo of Rahul Chahar and Yuzvendra Chahal. However, he didn’t pick left-armer Kuldeep Yadav, who has two hat-tricks in limited-overs cricket for the national team. In Zaheer’s lineup, Bhuvneshwar Kumar isn’t a certainty either.

Kumar picked up a four-wicket haul in the opening T20I against the Lankans and has been a stalwart of their bowling attack over the years. Zaheer was also spoilt for choices between Varun Chakravarthy and Washington Sundar. The former made his T20I debut on the Lanka tour.

“I have Chahal as the lead leg spinner and also went in with Rahul Chahar as his backup. In this format, we have seen that leg spinner is such a crucial factor. Chakravarthy/Sundar will be the spinners who would be bowling with the new ball. If you want that mystery element, you can choose Chakravarthy, but otherwise, you can go in with Sundar as well,” he added.

Zaheer’s squad

Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (c), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Rahul Chahar, T Natarajan/Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Washington Sundar/Varun Chakravarthy

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