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‘Those 17-18 players have already been shortlisted for T20 WC’ | Cricket – SportsMediaz


Team India made a terrific comeback in the T20I series against South Africa, leveling the series 2-2 after losing the first two games. The Rishabh Pant-led team remained unchanged all through the four games, as it bounced back with a 48-run win over the Proteas in Vizag, and outclassed the South African side by 82 runs in the fourth game at the SCA Stadium in Rajkot.

Also read: ‘Give Rishabh a break. Selectors need to talk with him if they want to move on’: Former Pakistan star tears into Pant

A number of former cricketers, as well as many fans, were surprised at India’s unwillingness to make changes in the XI even after the loss in the second T20I. After the win in the third game, former India cricketers Ashish Nehra and Aakash Chopra had suggested dropping Avesh Khan from the XI, but the team management persisted with him and reaped the rewards in Rajkot, as Avesh registered figures of 4/18 in four overs.

Ahead of the Rajkot T20I, former India batting coach Sanjay Bangar made an interesting observation on the side’s unchanged XIs in the series, as the conversation focused on India’s upcoming T20I series against Ireland as well as the preparations for the T20 World Cup.

Bangar said that there may be new faces in the Indian team for the Ireland series, but the intention to pick them is to make them familiar with the pressures of international cricket.

“I think Umran Malik, for example, is brought into the squad to make him familiar with the dressing room atmosphere, and how an international team functions. Because IPL is a domestic league at the end of the day and international cricket is a step-up from that. So, some players have been selected in the squad to give them that experience,” Bangar said on Star Sports.

The former India batter further said that he believes BCCI has already shortlisted their 17-18-member squad for the T20 World Cup, given the side’s pattern with the playing XIs of late. A number of first-team stars like captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Jasprit Bumrah have been rested for the series, while Suryakumar Yadav and KL Rahul had missed out due to injury.

“I believe that the 11 players who have played in this series so far, and the first-team players who are rested, I think those 17-18 players have already been shortlisted (for the T20 World Cup squad),” Bangar further said.


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