T20 World Cup: Jasprit Bumrah, Rohit Sharma, and 5 Likely Picks; IPL Performance to Shape Remaining Selections

Despite discussions about prioritizing selections from domestic cricket for the Indian team, it's evident that the Indian Premier League (IPL) holds more weight than the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy Twenty20 tournament. Following a commendable performance in the ODI World Cup, the Indian team is now setting its sights on the Twenty20 World Cup scheduled to take place in America and the Caribbean Islands in June. Consequently, the players' form in the IPL is poised to play a crucial role in the team's preparations.

While Jasprit Bumrah, Rohit Sharma, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Suryakumar Yadav, Lokesh Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, and Kuldeep Yadav are almost certain for the Twenty20 World Cup squad, uncertainty looms over Virat Kohli's inclusion. Given the slow pitches in America and the West Indies, spinners are expected to be vital. However, eight spots in the World Cup squad are yet to be finalized, underscoring the significance of IPL 2024 in identifying these players.

Shivam Dube, known for his contributions to Chennai Super Kings' title win in the previous IPL season, is backed by India and could serve as a crucial all-rounder, particularly with his left-handed batting prowess in the middle overs. While Shubman Gill and Rituraj Gaikwad have displayed proficiency against spinners, they are likely to be positioned higher in the batting order to confront the new ball.

Hardik Pandya's selection hinges on his fitness and form, with selectors keen on clarifying his role in the team to avoid overlapping with Dube's role. The selectors aim to assign distinct roles to Hardik and Shivam if both are included in the squad.

Jitesh Sharma is among the contenders for the wicketkeeping role, although Ishan Kishan's behavior has drawn criticism from the BCCI. Rishabh Pant's potential return could alter the equation, with one of the duo likely to serve as a backup. However, rushing Pant's return might not be prudent. Additionally, Lokesh Rahul's proficiency in batting in the middle order during IPL matches is considered an alternative.

Aggressive batting against fast bowlers in the final overs is deemed crucial, making Rinku Singh a prospective candidate. While Singh may secure a spot in the squad of 15 players, breaking into the playing eleven could pose a challenge.

Apart from Jasprit Bumrah, two fast bowlers will accompany the team. Players like Mohammad Siraj, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan, and Mukesh Kumar have been part of recent Twenty20 squads. Mohsin Khan's performance for Lucknow could also catch selectors' attention if he remains fit.

Ravi Bishnoi and Axar Patel, along with additional wicketkeeper-batsmen and fast bowlers, may be considered for backup positions.