Potential return dates for India stars ahead of T20 World Cup

As the countdown to the ICC Men's T20 World Cup continues, we take a look at the prospects of prominent out-of-action Indian players.

By Jonathan Healy

Mohammed Shami

Shami hasn't played since he featured in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup final against Australia in November 2023. Now, the experienced fast bowler is facing a race against time to be fit for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup in June.

The right-armer underwent surgery on his injured ankle in the UK recently and has already been ruled out of making an appearance at this year's Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament.

Shami was India's joint third-highest wicket-taker at the most recent T20 World Cup and would appear to be a certain starter for this year's tournament if he can recover in time.

Jasprit Bumrah

India's pace spearhead was rested for the recent fourth Test against England in Ranchi but is expected to return to the squad for the fifth and final Test in Dharamsala.

Bumrah will likely lead the attack for Mumbai Indians during the upcoming IPL and should do similar for his country at the T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and the USA.

Every Jasprit Bumrah wicket | CWC23

Jasprit Bumrah shined for India in the World Cup.

Rishabh Pant

It's been a long road back for Pant since his serious car accident, but there have been plenty of positive signs for the talented wicket-keeper batter in recent times.

Pant posted a video of himself keeping earlier this month and the 26-year-old is hoping to return to competitive cricket during the early stages of this year's IPL with the Delhi Capitals.

Delhi coach Ricky Ponting recently hinted that Pant may be managed at certain stages of the IPL and if everything goes to plan we may see the hard-hitting left-hander at the T20 World Cup in June.

Hardik Pandya

Hardik made a successful return from injury earlier this week when he turned out for Reliance 1 in the DY Patil T20 Cup. The star all-rounder showed some good signs in his first game back from an ankle complaint, as he picked up two wickets against Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited.

Hardik is the newly appointed skipper of the Mumbai Indians and if all remains good, the all-rounder will lead them during the IPL. A fit-again Hardik will be a crucial cog in India's quest for a second T20 World Cup title in June.

Virat Kohli

The former India captain has been sidelined for the ongoing five-match Test series against England due to personal reasons. Kohli and his wife welcomed their second child on 15 February.

While Kohli is yet to reveal when he will return to playing, the 35-year-old could still feature for his IPL franchise, Royal Challengers Bangalore at this year's tournament and for his country at June's T20 World Cup.

Shreyas Iyer

Iyer has been battling back issues in recent times. The batter had a lean patch in the ongoing Test series against England, with a highest score of 35 in his two Tests. He wasn’t picked for the final three games of the series.

The right-hander showed superb touch during last year's 50-over World Cup, scoring 530 runs at an average of 66.25. The batter will be just as valuable at this year's T20 World Cup given his ability to score freely against spin.

Iyer is likely to return to action during the IPL to lead the Kolkata Knight Riders and will be in contention to feature at the global tournament should his good form in white-ball cricket continue.Β 

Ishan Kishan

Kishan hasn't played a competitive match since he featured for India in the T20I series against Australia towards the end of last year, but the talented left-hander is expected to feature for the Mumbai Indians in the upcoming IPL tournament.

The 25-year-old was the 10th leading run-scorer at last year's edition of the IPL and will be keen to catch the attention of national selectors with another strong tournament this time around if he is to make India's squad of 15 for the T20 World Cup.

'I didn't take extra pressure on myself' – Kishan on T20I debut

KL Rahul

The experienced right-hander has only featured in one of the four completed Test matches against England but is considered a chance of returning from his leg issue in time for the fifth and final match in Dharamsala.

Rahul is expected to be fit for the entirety of the IPL with the Lucknow Super Giants and is likely to come under consideration for the T20 World Cup in June following his strong efforts with the bat and behind the stumps for India at last year's 50-over World Cup.

Best of KL Rahul | CWC23

With three scores of over 50 and an average of 75, KL Rahul enjoyed a prosperous World Cup.

Suryakumar Yadav

The world's top-ranked T20I batter has been sidelined since India's T20I series against South Africa towards the end of last year and even travelled to Germany for surgery on his groin in January.

Suryakumar is expected to return to action during the IPL for the Mumbai Indians and will be a key member of India's T20 World Cup campaign in June.

ICC Men's T20 World Cup, 2024NewsIndia