India T20 World Cup 2024 Squad, Press Conference Highlights: Agarkar explains Rinku Singh omission; Rohit guarded on Playing XI plans

Follow for all the updates from the Press Conference with Indian team selector Ajit Agarkar and captain Rohit Sharma about the Indian team for the T20 World Cup.

Published : May 02, 2024 15:28 IST , CHENNAI - 5 MINS READ

File - India’s chief cricket selector Ajit Agarkar (R) and team captain Rohit Sharma during a press conference.
File - India’s chief cricket selector Ajit Agarkar (R) and team captain Rohit Sharma during a press conference. | Photo Credit: ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP

File - India’s chief cricket selector Ajit Agarkar (R) and team captain Rohit Sharma during a press conference. | Photo Credit: ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP

The Chairman of Senior Selection Committee for BCCI Ajit Agarkar and Indian team captain Rohit Sharma addressed a press conference on Thursday at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai and discussed about the Indian team selected for the upcoming T20 World Cup set to happening in the USA and the West Indies.

Follow for all the highlights of the presser:

Rohit on off-spin option

We discussed a lot, unfortunately, Washy (Washington Sundar) hasn’t played a lot lately. It was then between Ash (Ashwin) and Axar (Patel). We thought of having 2 left-arm spinners – ash hasn’t played the format lately. Axar was in good form when he played those five matches against Australia. He has been bowling well and gives us that left handed option in the middle if we want to do something different.

Rohit on spin combination

There is a reason for taking four spinners. I won’t say it now. I will say it maybe in the West Indies. We have two spin-all-rounders and two attacking spinners. Based on conditions and opponents we will decide.

Agarkar on Virat Kohli strikerate

We haven’t been discussing it. He has been in good form in the IPL. There is a gap between IPL and T20I. That is where experience matters. Even if it turns out like the IPL, where 200+ is scored. We still have the firepower.

Agarkar on Rinku Singh

It was probably the toughest decision. Gill also for the matter. It is unfortunate. We have two terrific keepers. We wanted to go with the extra bowling option. At the end of the day you can only pick 15. 

Rohit on Playing 11

One thing we looked at was our middle overs hitting. Our top order hitting has been alright. There are options there. We picked Shivam Dube based on what he has done in IPL and before that. We spoke about it and decided. There is no guarantee what our playing 11 will be like. We will play a  few practice games and depending on conditions and opposition, decide our plans

Rohit on the WC squad

We sort of make the playing 11 in our mind. Lot of the prep and the talk happens during the IPL. We have been playing this format for a while. The talk of how our 15 is going to be started long back. You can’t change your plans based on a few IPL performances.  

Agarkar on selection process

All the good performances were noted. We were pretty clear in our thinking.

Agarkar on KL Rahul’s absence

KL [Rahul] is a terrific player. We wanted guys to bat in the middle. He is playing at the top now. Pant and Sanju are doing that. It is about the slots we have. 

PC starts

Rohit Sharma and Ajit Agarkar are finally here and the press conference is underway.

PC delayed

The press conference is delayed by 30 minutes and will now take place at 4:30 PM.

India’s T20 World Cup Squad 2024

Rohit Sharma will lead the Indian team in the upcoming Men’s T20 World Cup in the USA and West Indies. Hardik Pandya has been named vice-captain. Yuzvendra Chahal returns to the squad while K.L. Rahul has missed the cut.


India Squad
Rohit Sharma (Captain), Hardik Pandya (Vice Captain), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (WK), Sanju Samson (WK), Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Siraj.
Reserves – Shubman Gill, Rinku Singh, Khaleel Ahmed and Avesh Khan
Why wasn’t KL Rahul picked in India squad?

K.L. Rahul was left out of the Indian team for the T20 World Cup 2024 on Tuesday, with Sanju Samson and Rishabh Pant making it to the 15-member squad.

The omission raised a few eyebrows given Rahul’s impressive run in the Indian Premier League (IPL) this year, where he has scored 378 runs in nine innings at an average of 42 and a strike rate of over 144 for the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG).

A possible reason for the selectors preferring Samson and Pant over Rahul could be that the LSG batter mostly plays in the top order. In T20Is, Rahul has played 54 innings as opener, 10 innings at No. 3 and just four at No. 4.


Kohli’s slowdown not keeping pace with changing times, but India still needs him

For the last three years, Virat Kohli’s approach to T20 cricket has been in question, but now he finds himself in yet another World Cup squad. The trade-off is that it leaves India short of a genuine finisher in the playing XI.

India’s approach to T20Is has historically mirrored its strategy in ODIs, prioritising wickets over boundaries. But there have been enough signs that that attitude is shifting, but perhaps at a glacial pace.

Kohli has high averages, and his strike rates tend to rise as the innings goes deeper. Kohli has an overall strike rate of a shade under 140 in T20Is at an average of over 53 over the last five years. For Royal Challengers Bengaluru, he averages less than 40 (35.07) and strikes way slower, at under 130 during the same timeline.


Pant’s comeback traced

It didn’t feel like Rishabh Pant missed nearly 15 months of cricket. His typical off-balance sixes, one-handed swats charging down the track, or reverse scoops off fast bowlers haven’t lost their charm. 

In the recent Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 match against Gujarat Titans, during his 43-ball 88, Pant displayed the range hitting he was always known for before he got injured in a life-threatening car crash in December 2022 near Roorkee. 

Within 453 days, Pant not only learned to walk again, but became fit enough to come back into competitive cricket. 

His return also came at a crucial time for Indian cricket, with T20 World Cup selection looming. Since the Indian team last played a T20I in January 2024, performances in IPL played a significant role to finalise the squad for the marquee event set to be held in June in USA and the West Indies.


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