Assessing the India T20 World Cup Squad for 2021 with Odds and Analysis

By Ben Morris in Cricket
| September 19, 2021 6:31 am PDT

India was originally supposed to host the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, but due to the coronavirus situation in the country, the tournament will now be staged in the UAE and Oman.

Naturally, Ravi Shastri’s side was the frontrunner to lift the trophy on home soil. But even with the competition taking place 1,000 miles west of Mumbai, Team India is still the bookies’ favorite to go all the way.

So, how good is the India squad for the T20 World Cup? Can Virat Kohli lead his country to a second T20WC triumph? Is India’s bowling attack strong enough to get the job done?

I answer all those questions – and a whole load more – as I analyze India’s T20 World squad for 2021.

First, let’s look at the latest T20 World Cup odds, and go from there.

T20 World Cup Odds for 2021

India3.60
England4.33
West Indies6.50
Australia7.00
New Zealand7.00
Pakistan8.00
South Africa13.00
Sri Lanka29.00
Bangladesh41.00
Afghanistan81.00

Before we dive into the India squad for the T20 World Cup, let’s first look at how they measure up to the other teams in terms of odds.

All the best cricket betting sites view India as the favorite to win the 2021 T20 World Cup – and having just analyzed India’s T20 World Cup squad, it is difficult to argue with the bookmakers’ viewpoint.

In the eyes of the bookies, England is India’s main threat.

The West Indies, Australia, New Zealand, and Pakistan are all expected to challenge, while South Africa could also cause a stir.

Although India may not be the best value bet to win the tournament, I think backing the Men is Blue is still a good idea. Based on the strength of India’s squad alone, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Shastri’s men lifted the trophy in November.

For a more in-depth look at all the favorites, check out our 2021 T20 World Cup betting preview.

India Squad for the 2021 T20 World Cup

India’s T20 World Cup squad is missing a host of notable names, including Shikhar Dhawan, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Kuldeep Yadav.

But when you look at the 15-man roster – and the reserve players – it is easy to see why the selectors couldn’t find room for several stars.

INDIA’S T20 WORLD SQUAD (2021)
Batsmen All-Rounders Bowlers Reserves
Virat Kohli (c) Hardik Pandya Rahul Chahar Shreyas Iyer
Rohit Sharma Ravindra Jadeja Varun Chakravarthy Deepak Chahar
KL Rahul Ravichandran Ashwin Jasprit Bumrah Shardul Thakur
Suryakumar Yadav Axar Patel Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Rishabh Pant (wk) Mohammad Shami
Ishan Kishan (wk)

Captained by the imperious Virat Kohli, the India squad for the T20 World Cup is undoubtedly among the strongest in the competition.

All the big guns – Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah, and others – are there, along with a couple of intriguing inclusions. Ravichandran Ashwin returns to the T20I scene for the first since time 2017, alongside fellow spinners Rahul Chahar and Varun Chakravarthy.

Let’s take a closer look at all the key areas of India’s squad for the T20 World Cup in 2021.

How Strong is India’s Batting Line-Up?

Earlier in the year, I ranked the best Indian Premier League players of all time.

Unsurprisingly, Kohli came out on top. The India captain is a giant in all formats of the sport – and the T20 game is no exception.

Kohli will be backed up by five world-class batsmen in the UAE and Oman, with Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul likely to open. Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, and the exciting Rishabh Pant offer excellent middle-order depth.

India Batsmen – T20I Averages

  • Virat Kohli – 52.65
  • Rohit Sharma – 32.18
  • KL Rahul – 39.92
  • Suryakumar Yadav – 46.33
  • Rishabh Pant – 21.33
  • Ishan Kishan – 40.00

As you can see, Kohli boasts an outrageous T20I average of 52.65, while Rohit, Rahul, Yadav, and Kishan all average 30+. Pant’s average is somewhat deceiving, however, as he has the ability to win matches singlehandedly.

Let’s not forget that India’s all-rounders are pretty handy with the bat, too.

Does India Have the World’s Best All-Rounders?

In Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya, and Ravichandran Ashwin, India has not one, not two, but three distinguished all-rounders to call upon.

Axar Patel is far less experienced, although he still poses a threat with both bat and ball.

ANALYZING INDIA’S ALL-ROUNDERS
Player T20I Matches Runs Wickets
Ravindra Jadeja 50 217 39
Hardik Pandya 49 484 42
Ravichandran Ashwin 46 123 52
Axar Patel 12 75 9

India’s all-rounders have racked up more than 150 T20I appearance between them over the years, claiming a combined total of 142 wickets in the process.

They have also notched just under 1,000 runs collectively.

With numbers like that, it could be argued that India has the best all-rounder options in the tournament.

How Good is India’s Bowling Attack?

The India squad for the T20 World Cup contains three specialist spinners, with Chahar and Chakravarthy joining Ashwin on the roster. This could prove to be a masterstroke, as spinners should enjoy plenty of success in the favorable conditions of the Middle East.

The Men in Blue also have three world-class pacemen in their ranks. You only have to look at the stat leaders from the 2020 IPL season to see what Bumrah is capable of.

Alongside Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammad Shami provide depth in the fast-bowling department. Kumar has claimed 50 wickets in 51 T20Is, while Shami has taken 12 in 12.

All in all, India’s bowling attack is very strong.

What About India’s Reserves?

If any player from the 15-man roster needs to pull out due to injury, there are three gifted reserve players waiting in the wings.

Having played 29, T20Is, Shreyas Iyer averages 28.90 with the ball. Bowling all-rounder Shardul Thakur has taken 31 wickets in 22, T20Is, while Deepak Chahar has claimed 20 scalps in 14 matches.

It’s safe to say that Shastri doesn’t need to worry too much about one or two of his players withdrawing from the squad, as he has three talented reserves to call upon.

India’s Best Player – Virat Kohli

Even if you only follow cricket a bit, you probably don’t need me to tell you that Kohli is India’s best player. I mean, it could be argued that the 32-year-old is the greatest batsman on the planet.

Across 90, T20 matches for his country, “Cheeku” has amassed a whopping 3,159 runs. As a result, he finds himself atop India’s all-time T20 run-scoring leaderboard – 295 runs clear of second-place Rohit Sharma.

Kohli has also smashed an unrivalled 28 half-centuries since his T20I debut back in 2010, helping him to achieve a ludicrous average of 52.65.

The legendary batsman was in dazzling form during England’s tour of India earlier this year, posting scores of 73*, 77*, and 80* during the five-match T20I series. If he picks up where he left off in March, he could fire his country to glory in November.

India’s X-Factor – Jasprit Bumrah

Sitting seventh in the ICC Men’s ODI Bowling Rankings, it’s safe to say that Bumrah is one of the most skillful white-ball cricketers in the world.

The 27-year-old has played exactly 50, T20 matches for India, accumulating 59 wickets in the process. That said, he isn’t simply in the team to take wickets. His lethal yorkers make him one of the best death bowlers in the game, meaning he is extremely economical.

Of course, the India squad for the T20 World Cup is stacked with match-winners. But if Kohli needs a player to produce a game-changing moment, he knows he can rely on Bumrah to dish up something special.

Including all-rounders, India has nine bowling options on the 15-man roster. Still, there is no denying that Bumrah is the pick of the bunch.

Betting on India’s T20 World Cup Squad in 2021

Ultimately, the India squad for the T20 World Cup squad is seriously strong in every department. The batting line-up is deadly, the all-rounder options are outstanding, and the bowling attack is scary.

We all know what the likes of Kohli and Rohit can do with the bat, while bowlers such as Bumrah and Kumar need no introduction. However, I think India’s spinners could hold the key to their team’s success.

With Ashwin, Jadeja, Chahar, and Chakravarthy all capable of bamboozling the best batsmen on the planet, the Men in Blue could spin their way to glory this year.

You can keep up to date with all the latest cricket developments in our cricket betting blog. Keep an eye out for T20 World Cup match previews and predictions via our cricket betting picks, too.

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