Hardik Pandya eats up Rinku Singh’s place in India’s T20 World Cup squad

Shivam Dube and Hardik Pandya

In a recent development, Mumbai Indians captain and all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been confirmed to be an automatic selection in the Indian team for the ICC T20 World Cup 2024.

While Pandya is on track to be in the squad for the WC, there will be tough competition between middle-order batsmen Rinku Singh and Chennai Super Kings all-rounder Shivam Dube.

The deadline for the 15-player roster announcement is May 1 and all contenders will need to be at their best before that date arrives.

The 2024 edition of the Indian Premier League is serving as a big preparatory tournament not only for Indian players but also for foreign players in the league.

This tournament is more than capable of helping a player prove his worth and book his tickets for the T20 World Cup in the USA and West Indies.

The biggest question right now is what will India’s middle-order look like and who will be the all-rounders, Hardik Pandya or Shivam Dube?

Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya and Virat Kohli in provisional list

Latest reports from PTI claim that the Ajit Agarkar-led selection committee has already determined the top 10 players in the 15-man squad for the World Cup.

Among them, while Rinku Singh and Shivam Dube are still on the waiting list, new MI captain Hardik Pandya is there along with skipper Rohit Sharma, top-order batsman Virat Kohli and Delhi Capitals captain, Rishabh Pant. Other names are yet to be revealed but Kuldeep Yadav and Mohammed Siraj can also be in the top 10 list.

Competition between Shivam Dube and Rinku Singh for the lower-middle order position

The same PTI report claims that while Hardik Pandya is in no danger of losing his place, India’s middle and lower-middle order will see a fight between Shivam Dube and Rinku Singh.

Both have had a good tournament so far, but in terms of the finisher role, Rinku is likely to cut. The reason behind Dube’s possible non-selection from the 15-man squad could be the fact that the CSK man has not bowled any over in the tournament.

For the all-rounder criteria, bowling is a must, but Shivam Dube is yet to tick that particular box. Hardik Pandya hasn’t played much in this edition either, but due to his experience in ICC tournaments and his seniority in the team, the Baroda all-rounder has a better chance of making it.

But that selection fight to watch out for will be between Rinku Singh and Shivam Dube. In terms of numbers with the bat, Rinku could have had a better season than Shivam last season as he scored 474 runs while Dube scored 418.

But this season, Dube has had the opportunity to bat more and that is why he has already scored 242 runs in 6 matches with a strike rate of more than 160.

Rinku Singh, on the other hand, hasn’t batted much this season, so in 6 matches, the UP batsman has only 83 runs, but that doesn’t take anything away from his finishing skills. He is still the same man who hit five sixes in a row last season to help his team win in an unthinkable situation.

And as the deadline approaches, anticipation builds, but who will make the final cut? Time will tell.