10.45 pm: So, what was expected to be an interesting evening in Indian cricket, lived up to the billing and then some! Surprise selections in the squad (which naturally means surprise omissions), the return of Dhoni to the Indian dressing room as a mentor... never a dull moment.

More from Chetan Sharma (via PTI): “We have picked Rahul Chahar over Yuzi as we wanted someone who bowls fast and gets pace off the pitch.”

Talking about the squad, chief selector Chetan Sharma said: “Ashwin is an asset. He performed well in the IPL and we needed a player of his experience. We need an off-spinner with Washington (Sundar) injured.”

“Ashwin is the only off-spinner in the squad. Varun is a mystery spinner who is a surprise package for the world,” he added.

— via PTI

More on MS Dhoni mentor role (Via PTI):

“Former India Captain M S Dhoni to mentor the team for the T20 World Cup,” announced BCCI secretary Jay Shah in a press conference to unveil the squad for the event scheduled to start October 17 in the UAE and Oman. “(I) spoke to him in Dubai. He agreed to be mentor for WT20 only and I discussed with my colleagues and all are on same page. I spoke to captain (Virat Kohli) and vice captain (Rohit Sharma) and everyone agreed,” he added.

Ashish Magotra: Great for Ishan Kishan to be part of the mix. He can be dangerous from ball one and those are the kind of batsmen you need for T20. And a great move to have Dhoni in the dressing room. He is street smart, has a wealth of experience, understands the game, understands Kohli and is still the coolest head around. Big question for India to answer is whether they have enough firepower down the order... with it be an all Hardik Pandya show? Pant before or after Hardik? Will Surya bat lower down? Where will Kohli bat?

Ashish Magotra: Chahal missing out is not surprising to me. He just seemed to have lost his way a bit and gives away far too many runs. Leaving Dhawan out must have been tough given how consistent he has been (and this is a ICC event) but there was simply no place for him.

Ashish Magotra: Ashwin obviously the most non-obvious pick here. Has he done enough to be part of the team? A wicket-taking option no doubt... even with the new ball.

FIRST REACTION: A spin heavy squad but once seen as the white-ball go-to guys neither Yuzi Chahal, nor Kuldeep Yadav find a place in the first 15. Ashwin, Jadeja, Axar, Varun, R Chahar are the ones the selectors have gone with. Quite the move that.

Standby players – Shreyas Iyer, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar.


Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohd Shami.

9.05 pm: No details on the start of the press conference or team announcement yet.

India's group fixtures

Date Match Venue
24th October IND vs PAK Dubai
31st October IND vs NZ Dubai
3rd November IND vs AFG Abu Dhabi
5th November IND vs B1 Dubai
8th November IND vs A2 Dubai

08.50 pm: Pakistan’s squad announcement has so far arguably caused the most discussion among cricket fans with plenty of differing points of view going around. Pakistan will open their campaign with a high-voltage match against India in Dubai on October 24.

Pakistan selectors Monday announced a 15-man squad for next month’s Twenty20 World Cup but resisted calls to include veteran allrounder Shoaib Malik despite the team struggling with middle-order batting for two years.

“We have focused on specialist T20 players and have considered the situation of the venues and our oppositions in the event,”  said chief selector Mohammad Wasim, adding that specialists were preferred.

Former captain and wicketkeeper Sarfaraz Ahmed, allrounder Faheem Ashraf, opener Sharjeel Khan also failed to make the cut but 40-year-old veteran Mohammad Hafeez was included. Another opener Fakhar Zaman was included in the three reserves who will travel with the squad. They also include pacer Shahnawaz Dahani and Usman Qadir.

Misfiring power-hitters Asif Ali and Azam Khan were perhaps surprise inclusions. Ali managed just two double figure scores in the last 10 Twenty20 internationals.

Twenty-year-old fast bowler Mohammad Wasim was also included, having impressed in the four Twenty20 internationals he has played  so far.

Babar Azam will skipper the squad.

Pakistan Squad: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Azam Khan, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Junior, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sohaib Maqsood

Reserves: Fakhar Zaman, Shahnawaz Dahani, Usman Qadir

— AFP inputs

08.45 pm: Some updates from the other team as we wait for India’s squad updates...

AFP report on Tuesday

Ben Stokes looks likely to miss England’s Twenty20 World Cup campaign, with head coach Chris Silverwood insisting the all-rounder’s personal well-being remains the top priority.

The 30-year-old is currently taking an indefinite leave of absence from cricket to prioritise his mental health and recover from a finger injury and has not taken the field since July.

The International Cricket Council needs squads to be submitted by Friday and it seems highly unlikely that Stokes will make the list of 15. England are planning to name three standby players and he may not even be named on that list.

“We are going to leave that one late, to give it our best chance,” said Silverwood. “Whatever support Ben needs he will get from us.

“I haven’t spoken to him just as yet because I want to give him as much space as possible, but there are people talking to him outside of me and it is something we will be revisiting shortly.

“But I will not be putting pressure on him, will not be rushing him and whatever support he needs he will get. First and foremost my only concern is for him and making sure he’s OK.”

The groupings for ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021: 

Round 1

Group A: Sri Lanka, Ireland, the Netherlands and Namibia
Group B: Bangladesh, Scotland, Papua New Guinea and Oman

(Top two teams from each group advance to Super 12s)

Super 12s

Group 1: England, Australia, South Africa, West Indies, A1 and B2.
Group 2: India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Afghanistan, A2 and B1.

(Top two teams from each group advance to the semi-finals)

8.40 pm: Apart from the composition of the squad, it will be interesting to see how large a squad that BCCI names.

From PTI report: 

While most of the teams are announcing 15-member squads, the BCCI is expected to announce either an 18 or 20 member squad as the ICC will allow a squad strength of 30, instead of 23 in earlier editions, amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The number is inclusive of the support staff.

Any team can have more than 30-member squads but the extra cost is supposed to be borne by the country’s cricket board.

The Indian white ball team will have at least 13 to 15 members, who are automatic selections but there are a few spots for which there would be some discussions.

08.30 pm: Indian cricket fans will know the make up (and size) of the squad to be selected by the Board of Control for Cricket in India for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021.

The All-India Senior Selection Committee will meet on Wednesday to pick the Indian Cricket Team for the upcoming World Cup to be hosted by BCCI from October 17 to November 14, 2021, in the UAE and Oman.

We will have live updates and reaction on this blog.