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Selection for the T20 World Cup: Pant and Pandya are vying for vice captaincy

There were questions over whether he would be able to participate in the ongoing Indian Premier League a little more than a month ago. Now, with only a few days to go before the Indian team is chosen for the T20 World Cup in the USA and the West Indies, Rishabh Pant could have a real shot at leading the team.

The national selectors, who are scheduled to convene on May 1, are anticipated to deliberate over the possibility of reappointing Pant as India’s vice-captain, a role he occupied before to being forced into an extended injury break following a near-fatal tragedy in December 2022.

In June 2022, Pant led India in a five-match Twenty20 International series against South Africa. He will, just so you know, be India’s first-choice wicketkeeper for the June T20 World Cup.

It won’t be easy to decide whether to promote Pant, though, especially as Hardik Pandya is another possible candidate. Pandya’s failure to inspire the Mumbai Indians team during the IPL may be tipping the scales in favor of the captain of the Delhi Capitals. It’s unlikely that some of his dubious choices as captain went unnoticed, nor that his public criticism of a teammate following a recent loss was overlooked.

Nevertheless, Pandya’s qualifications as the captain of India cannot be disregarded. Last year, he was named vice-captain of the World Cup team. It’s debatable if Pandya can be trusted with the leadership role, but his ability to bowl at a fair speed is undoubtedly helping him and securing his spot in the team.

In addition to other selection concerns, the starting lineup will include Virat Kohli, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Suryakumar Yadav, and captain Rohit Sharma. Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, and Rishabh Pant will be in the middle order. Along with Sanju Samson or KL Rahul, there will be one or both of Shivam Dube and Rinku Singh.

The role of specialist spinner would go to Kuldeep Yadav, while Axar Patel might beat over Ravi Bishnoi to take the other spinner’s spot. Yuzvendra Chahal, the IPL’s leading wicket-taker, is unlikely to be taken into consideration.

Arshdeep Singh, Mohammed Siraj, and Jasprit Bumrah are the pacers who are almost guaranteed to be included. Sandeep Sharma might be included in the mix because of the perception that the Indian Premier League hasn’t precisely produced top-tier pacers.

Sandeep, who has shown promise for the Rajasthan Royals with his slow-medium speed, might be useful on the slow surfaces that are anticipated in the US and the West Indies. With Pandya in the team, it will be up to captain Rohit to determine whether to consider Shubman Gill and whether to add a fourth specialist bowler.