Yuvraj Singh dissects India's options for T20 World Cup squad

ICC Men's T20 World Cup-winner Yuvraj Singh has revealed who he thinks India should select in their squad for this year’s tournament.

Former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh dissected the options of who should be India's first-choice wicket-keeper, picked out the key player that must fire and provided some insight into the future of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.

Yuvraj played a starring role when helping guide India to their sole Men’s T20 World Cup success and his feat of smashing England's Stuart Broad for six consecutive sixes in an over during a Super 8s clash at that tournament in South Africa in 2007 still brings a smile to the face of the cricketing great when mentioned in passing 17 years later.

And Yuvraj will once again be involved at the T20 World Cup this year in the USA and Caribbean, with the former India all-rounder unveiled by the ICC on Friday, 26 April as an ambassador for the 2024 tournament.

Yuvraj remains an avid watcher of the international game and sat down with the ICC to discuss a range of issues surrounding this year's event and just what India needs to do to lift the coveted T20 World Cup trophy for a second time.

T20 World Cup ambassador Yuvraj Singh dissects the options for India's tournament squad

Key player that must perform for India

Yuvraj immediately identified the World's No.1 ranked T20I batter Suryakumar Yadav as the player that must have a good tournament in the USA and Caribbean if India are to claim the title, while he also suggested pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah needs to be at his best.

"Suryakumar Yadav (is India's key player)," Yuvraj suggested.

"Because the way he plays, he can change the complexion of a game in 15 balls. 

"And he is definitely a surety…for India to win this T20 World Cup, Surya is going to be the key. 

"I think Jasprit Bumrah is also the key with the bowling and I would like to see a leg-spinner in the squad as well, like Yuzvendra Chahal as he has been bowling really well. 

"But being a batter, I would say Suryakumar Yadav (is the key player).”

Highlights of India star Suryakumar Yadav so far at the ICC Men's T20 World Cup.

Age a factor in India wicket-keeper debate

While Yuvraj has been impressed with what Dinesh Karthik has been able to do for Royal Challengers Bengaluru in the Indian Premier League this year, he believes the veteran keeper should only win a place in India's squad for the T20 World Cup if he is guaranteed a spot in the playing XI.

"DK (Karthik) has been batting well, but the thing with DK is the last time (2022) they picked him and the T20 WC was on he didn’t get to play,” Yuvraj noted.

"If DK is not in your XI I don’t think there is any point in picking him.

"There is Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson and both guys are in great form and obviously they are younger.

"I would like to see DK in the mix, but if he is not going to play then you would rather have someone who is younger and can make the difference.”

Rohit Sharma hit 31 sixes in the World Cup.

Left-field selection option for India at T20 World Cup

Yuvraj wants to see more explosive batters utilised in India's middle-order at the T20 World Cup and has identified Chennai Super Kings left-hander Shivam Dube as one player that he wants to see feature.

"I would like to see Shivam Dube in the squad," Yuvraj said.

"He has been in and out of the (India) team, but this IPL he has been batting very well and he is someone who can be the game-changer.

"There are a lot of other guys who have been playing for a while now, but I would like to see Shivam Dube in the mix."

Most runs in a single edition of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup.

Future plans for Rohit and Virat

Yuvraj knows just how important Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli are to India's fortunes at this year's T20 World Cup and refused to put an end date on when he thinks the duo should retire from international cricket.

Instead, Yuvraj suggested Rohit and Kohli should consider giving up on playing T20I cricket after the completion of the T20 World Cup and concentrate on other formats.

"As you get older people start talking about your age and they forget about your form," Yuvraj started.

"These guys have been great players for India and they deserve to go (retire) when they want.

"I would like to see more younger players in the T20 format, because it gets the load off them (experienced players) playing 50-over (ODIs) and Test matches.

"After this (T20) World Cup I would like to see a lot of younger guys come into the team and make the T20 side for the next World Cup."

NewsMT20 Cricket World CupICC Men's T20 World Cup, 2024