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 T-20, which will be hosted by Bangladesh from February 24 to March 6.
The Indian cricket team that played in Australia will be going through a small change for the World T-20. MS Dhoni will lead the team as before. However, what came as a surprise was the selection of left-arm spinner Pawan Negi. Old-timers such as Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh also won the faith and confidence of the selectors after their outstanding performance in Australia.
Young players like Jasprit Bhumrah and Hardik Pandya who left an impression with their recent performance in the series against Australia also made it to the team announced by BCCI secretary Anurag Thakkar. Paceman Mohammed Shami made a comeback. However, the pace duo of Ishant Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar and batsman Manish Pandey could not make it to the squad.
“This is the best combination of we can think of,” said Sandeep Patil, the chairman of the selection committee.
The 34-year-old Mahendra Singh Dhoni will lead India at the World Twenty20 for the 6th edition in a row as he was again chosen as the captain. Dhoni was also India's skipper in all previous 5 editions (2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2014) of World T-20 and will also be at the helm, in what could be his last global tournament. Under Dhoni's leadership, India won the inaugural World T-20 in South Africa in 2007, ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 and several other tournaments. Even in the last tournament of World T-20 format, they lost to Sri Lanka in the final in 2014. Dhoni has so far led in 28 World T20 matches winning 18 (Lost 9, 1 No Result).
The tournament is divided into 3 stages, with 16 teams in the fray. 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.