“The selectors will wait and watch on how Hardik shapes up in the next few days. The selectors went with just three genuine pacers because it was believed Hardik would be fit enough to bowl his quota of overs. Since he hasn’t bowled at all in the IPL, there’s no form to go by,” a top BCCI official told TOI on Sunday.
It was believed that the deadline to submit the final team was October 10 but it was only for the teams who are playing the qualifiers which start on Oct 17. “Teams can change their teams seven days prior to the start of their support period. India’s support period starts with the Super 12 which begin on Oct 23. So, they have time to change the team till Oct 15 midnight,” an ICC source told TOI.
TOI understands that the selectors want to be absolutely sure that Hardik will be fit enough to bowl in all the matches. So far, Hardik hasn’t bowled for Mumbai Indians and his captain Rohit Sharma had claimed that his status will be assessed in another week.
Chennai Super Kings pacers Shardul Thakur and Deepak Chahar are already in standbys. If need be one of them could be added to the main squad. “It’s not decided if Hardik will be dropped altogether if he doesn’t get bowling ready. But he is running out of time as an allrounder. If any one of Thakur and Deepak gets in, then there’s a chance of the selectors asking Harshal Patel to stay back in UAE,” the BCCI source said.
The BCCI and selectors had made up their minds that they won’t be changing the team unless there are fitness concerns. Mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy’s fitness has also been under the scanner. “Chakravarthy is seen as an X-factor and the team management is very keen to have him in the team. But the state of his knees will also be assessed. It needs to be seen if the team’s medical staff is confident of managing him through the tournament,” the source added.
No call yet on allowing families
BCCI has not made up its mind if they are going to allow the families of the team members to stay back for the T20 World Cup. The board is in touch with senior players on the issue. The apprehensions stem from the last month’s fiasco in Manchester when the players refused to play the fifth Test against England fearing for the safety of their families following a Covid-19 outbreak in the camp.
“As of now the families have stayed back for the IPL. Virat Kohli’s family has come back though. A decision will be taken on whether they will be allowed to stay back for the World Cup is yet to be taken,” a BCCI source said.
ICC has allowed only close family to stay in the bubble and it has also mentioned that a decision to pullout of a match doesn’t rest with the teams. The ICC expert panel will handle the situation if an outbreak happens.