The 15th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is currently underway, with ten clubs competing for the coveted championship. Several Indian players will be hoping to utilize the competition as a springboard to securing a spot in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup in 2022.
The T20 World Cup will begin on October 16 and conclude on November 13 with the final match. The competition will take place in Australia. Four teams from two global qualifiers will join the hosts, and the 11 automatic qualifiers from the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 will make up a total of 16 teams competing for the cup.
Meanwhile, team India, under by head coach Rahul Dravid and captain Rohit Sharma, have begun their preparations for the crucial competition ahead of the IPL. In a T20I series at home, the Men in Blue defeated the West Indies and Sri Lanka. Following the IPL, India will play T20I series against South Africa, Ireland, and England in preparation for the World Cup.
So, let’s look at those 5 who might come back to the Indian team:
- Dinesh Karthik
Before the emergence of MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik was one of the wicketkeeper-batters tried out by India during the Ganguly era of Indian cricket. Karthik, 36, has been in and out of the Indian team, but in the rare opportunities he has had, he has done admirably both behind the wickets and with the bat.
In T20 cricket, Karthik has represented India in 32 matches, scoring 399 runs at a decent average of 33.25 and an amazing strike rate of 143.53. In the final of a tri-series between India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka a few years ago, Karthik played a brilliant century against Bangladesh.
In IPL 2022, Karthik has done well for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Karthik scored 32 runs off just 14 balls in the Red Army's first innings against Punjab Kings. In a game against Kolkata Knight Riders, he also made 14 off seven balls and finished the game for his team. The batter will be hoping to earn another chance to play for India by performing well throughout the season.
- Umesh Yadav
Umesh Yadav, the Express pacer, will want to build on his strong performance in the IPL 2022 and submit his case to the selectors in order to earn a trip to Australia. In Australian conditions, which offer pace and bounce to seamers, the 34-year-old may be a useful player.
Umesh's IPL statistics show that the right-arm bowler has played 123 games and taken 123 wickets. In addition, the express pacer has played in seven T20 matches for India, taking nine wickets at an average of 24.33. His economy, on the other hand, is a tad higher, as he gives up nearly nine runs per over.
So far in this year's IPL, the fast pacer has been pretty good. In eight overs bowled in two matches, he has taken four wickets while allowing only 36 runs. Yadav has already taken out several major names in the tournament, like Virat Kohli, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Devon Conway, while bowling with the new cherry.
- Shikhar Dhawan
Despite his outstanding performance in the Indian Premier League, Indian batter Shikhar Dhawan has not been given many opportunities to represent his country in T20 matches. In July of last year, the left-handed hitter represented India in a T20 series against Sri Lanka. It's worth noting that Dhawan was the captain of the young Indian team that traveled to Sri Lanka.
Regarding Dhawan's T20 statistics, the 36-year-old has appeared in 68 matches for India, scoring 1759 runs with a strike rate of 27.92. While wearing the Indian colors, Dhawan has also hit 11 half-centuries. Dhawan has also been a steady performer in the IPL, scoring 5826 runs in 193 games.
Even though India's top order already includes Skipper Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, and Ishan Kishan, the southpaw's ICC tournament record makes him a viable option if in form. Dhawan will try to repeat his IPL success and hope to be included in India's World Cup squad.
- Rahul Chahar
Rahul Chahar, a promising leg-spinner who just parted ties with Mumbai Indians, will be looking to impress for his new team, Punjab Kings. In order to qualify for the T20 World Cup in Australia, the 22-year-old tweaker will try to win the Purple Cap (most wickets) in this year's tournament.
Chahar made his T20I debut against the West Indies in 2019 and played his final match against Namibia in the T20 World Cup 2021 group round encounter. Chahar has played in six international matches for India, taking seven wickets in the process. He has a strong economy rate of 7.59.
Chahar will have his work cut out for him with Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, and Ravi Bishnoi being the top priorities for inclusion in the team. Chahar, on the other hand, will have to concentrate on his own performances and leave the rest to the selectors. Chahar has 44 wickets to his name in 43 IPL appearances so far.
- T Natarajan
T Natarajan, who is known for his superb death bowling talents, could be an ideal death bowling partner for Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The left-arm bowler, who hails from Salem, made his T20I debut against Australia in 2020. However, due to injuries, he has been in and out of the national squad.
In March 2021, Natarajan played his final T20 encounter in India, against England. The 30-year-old has played four T20 matches for India, taking seven wickets and bowling at an economy rate of 7.62. In the IPL 2022, Natarajan will play for Sunrisers Hyderabad.
In his team's opening match of the competition, the left-arm pacer proved to be rather costly. In his four-over quota, he gave up 43 runs but claimed two key wickets. The 30-year-old, on the other hand, will strive to improve his performance in the future matches in order to secure a spot in the crucial tournament in Australia.