New Delhi [India], September 8 (ANI): The Indian national selectors on Wednesday picked the squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup to be hosted in UAE and Oman. In a surprise move, R Ashwin has been included in the team which will begin its campaign in the showpiece event against arch-rivals Pakistan. He had last played a T20I against West Indies in July 2017. Yuzvendra Chahal misses out as MS Dhoni will be the mentor of the team.
While the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has the hosting rights, the tournament has been moved out of the country with an eye on the COVID-19 pandemic.
India and Pakistan will be locking horns on October 24 in a group-stage encounter. The tournament will get underway from October 17, with the final to be played in Dubai on November 14. The tournament will begin with the Round 1 Group B encounter between hosts Oman and Papua New Guinea on October 17, with Scotland and Bangladesh, the other teams in Group B, clashing in the evening match.
Ireland, Netherlands, Sri Lanka, and Namibia — making up Group A — will be in action in Abu Dhabi the next day, with Round 1 matches running till October 22. The top two teams in each group will proceed to the Super 12 stage of the tournament, beginning on October 23.
The second round of the tournament — the Super12 stage — will get underway in Abu Dhabi on October 23, with the Group 1 contest between Australia and South Africa. This will be followed up with an evening clash between England and West Indies in Dubai.
Old rivals England and Australia will lock horns in Dubai on October 30. It will conclude on November 6 with matches between Australia and West Indies in Abu Dhabi, and England and South Africa in Sharjah.
Group 2 will commence with a heavyweight clash between India and Pakistan in Dubai on October 24. Pakistan then take on New Zealand in Sharjah on October 26, in a tough start for the 2009 champions. Afghanistan begin their campaign on October 25 at Sharjah, taking on the winners of Group B from the first round. It will conclude on November 8, with India taking on the second-placed Round 1 qualifier from Group A.
The first semi-final will be held in Abu Dhabi on November 10. The second semi-final will be hosted by Dubai on November 11. Both semi-finals have reserve days. The marquee clash of the tournament will take place in Dubai on November 14, Sunday, with Monday acting as the reserve day for the final.
SQUAD: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rahul Chahar, Varun, Mohammed Shami, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishan Kishan.
Stand-byes: Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur. (ANI)