T20 World Cup: Bhuvneshwar will certainly be included in India's travelling squad, says Pujara
- T20 World Cup is set to take place in Australia next month
- India’s opening game is against Pakistan on Oct. 23
- Bhuvi is the second leading wicket-taker this year in T20Is
The deadline for announcing squads for the T20 World Cup 2022 is Sept. 15. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is waiting for the report on the fitness progress of India pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel before announcing the squad for the mega event.
Australia are set to host the T20 World Cup, which is due to begin on Oct. 16 and will go on till Nov. 13.
Indian fast bowler Bhuvneshwar has been in fine form this year in the shortest format and is the second leading wicket-taker with 31 wickets in 22 T20Is for India. He is just behind Nepal's Sandeep Lamichhane who has picked up 38 wickets.
Bhuvi's career-best figures came recently in India's Asia Cup clash with Afghanistan, where he picked up a five-wicket haul and gave away just four runs in his quota of four overs.
In a recent interview, Pujara heaped praise on Bhuvi, saying that India could use him in the powerplay and keey Harshal and Bumrah for the death overs.
"I think he is a top quality bowler. There shouldn't be any doubt about him being part of the World Cup squad and, especially in Australia, he should be part of the playing eleven as well. I know Arshdeep is bowling really well, but after the performance against Afghanistan, we can afford to bowl him three overs in the powerplay if we need to, because we have Bumrah and we have Harshal Patel, who can bowl at the death," Pujara told ESPNCricinfo.
Ahead of the T20 World Cup, India are scheduled to host Australia and South Africa in a white-ball series. While India will play only three T20Is against the Aussies, they will play three T20Is and as many ODIs against the Proteas.
Talking about Bhuvi's workload management, Pujara said that Bhuvi doesn't need to be given a complete break as it is vital for the pacer to have enough game time going into the T20 World Cup.
"I think considering there is a big World Cup coming, we would still play him but try and make sure that he doesn't play all the games. Maybe, out of three important games, he just plays the first two and if India is ahead or have won the first two games, he can be rested in the third one.
Same in the next series as well. I don't think he needs a complete break. It is important for him to stay in the rhythm, and stay the way he has been bowling. And he needs match practice. I understand that there is a lot of workload if he was playing red-ball cricket. But he is just playing white-ball cricket. I still feel that if he gets a few more games before the World Cup it will help him," added Pujara.
The three-match T20I series is scheduled to begin on Sept. 20 and the matches will be played in Mohali, Nagpur, and Hyderabad. The South Africa series will go underway from Sept. 28, with the T20Is to be played in Thiruvananthapuram, Guwahati, and Indore and the ODIs in Lucknow, Ranchi, and Delhi.
India, who have not won the T20 World Cup since 2007, will begin their campaign on Oct. 23 against Pakistan at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).