The Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) selection committee, headed by Sandeep Patil, announced the 15-man Indian squad for the ICC World Twenty20 2016 to be held in India from March 8 to April 3. The same team will also play in Asia Cup T20, which will be hosted by Bangladesh from February 24 to March 6.
Left-arm spinner Pawan Negi, who was recently included in the squad for Sri Lanka T20Is, has made it to both Asia Cup and World T20 squads. Paceman Mohammed Shami made a comeback. There is no place for Manish Pandey.
Speaking to reporters after the selection committee's meeting, Patil said, "Manish Pandey performed exceptionally well in Australia, his name was also discussed. When selectors pick a team, we always give importance to domestic performance. It is not that we are only looking at seniors, we have looked at the performance, fitness and record of the domestic players as well. We have taken into account all the performances of not just 15-16 guys but all the domestic players and then picked these 15."
On veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, Patil said, ""Harbhajan has been a part of this team. The selectors, the team management and the captain have faith in Harbhajan, his record and the contribution he has made to the team."
The 34-year-old Dhoni was India's skipper in all previous 5 editions (2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014) of World T20 and again he will be at the helm this year, in what could be his last global tournament.
Under Dhoni's leadership, India won the inaugural World T20 in South Africa in 2007. In the last tournament in 2014, they lost to Sri Lanka in the final. Dhoni has so far led in 28 World T20 matches winning 18 (Lost 9, 1 No Result).
Playing in home conditions, India are favourites to lift the trophy. No team has won the title twice with all 5 editions seeing different champions. India have a chance to make history.
India, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand and Winner Group A (Q1 A) are in Group 2 (Super 10 Stage). The hosts open campaign against arch rivals Pakistan in Dharamsala on March 19.
The tournament is divided into 3 stages. 16 teams are in the fray. The event will be hosted across 7 cities.
India squad for Asia Cup and World T20: MS Dhoni (captain and wicketkeeper), Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Ashish Nehra, Harbhajan Singh, Pawan Negi, Mohammed Shami.
Previous champions of World T20
2007 - India
2009 - Pakistan
2010 - England
2012 - West Indies
2014 - Sri Lanka