The reason the national selection committee has picked four spinners to represent India in the third successive ICC Men's T20 World Cup is that skipper Rohit Sharma has specifically asked for a combination of four spinners and three pacers even though the team would be playing on pitches in the USA and Caribbean that are expected to help pacers more than spinners.

For the 2021 edition of the T20 World Cup played in Oman and UAE, India picked Ravichandran Ashwin, Rahul Chahar, Varun Chakravarthy and Ravindra Jadeja in their 15-member squad. In the next edition held in Australia in 2022, India went in with Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Deepak Hooda and Axar Patel.

For the 2024 edition, the Indian squad includes two left-hand orthodox spinners Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel and a left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav. Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal is the fourth spinner in the squad. The 2024 edition of the T20 World Cup will be played from June 1 to 29.

The selection of four spinners for an event to be held in the United States and Caribbean where the pitches are more suited for pace had left many experts baffled. The three pacers in the Indian squad are Jasprit Bumrah, Arshdeep Singh and Mohammed Siraj with Hardik Pandya expected to be available as the fourth pacer.

But on Thursday, Rohit Sharma said he had a specific technical reason and theory for seeking four spinners in the squad and said he would reveal his reasons closer to the tournament.

"We discussed about a lot, whether to have an offspinner or not. But unfortunately, you know, Washi (Washington Sundra) hasn't played a lot of cricket lately, and hasn't been getting an opportunity and it was then between Ash and Axar, it was like that. We thought it was having two left-arm spinners who are actually playing and doing well and Ashwin hasn't played the format lately as well for a long time," said Rohit.

"Axar is in real good form since 50-over World Cup when he played that five-match series against Australia. He was the man of the series if I'm not wrong, so he has been bowling well. He has been bowling well in the format. He's done well for India. We considered all of it and that left-handed option, if we have to send someone in the middle to do something different. And of course, a very experienced player has been playing for a long time now," he added, explaining the rationale behind selecting Axar Patel.

"Hopefully the captain can roll his arm over," said Agarkar.

Asked about Hardik Pandya being picked up despite going through an indifferent form in the ongoing IPL, Agarkar said they did not find any better option for him. He said Hardik's form was never an issue for them as they gave more weightage to the fact that he returned from a break and played all matches for Mumbai Indians in the IPL 2024 so far. He said fitness was the major issue for them when considering Pandya and Rishabh Pant and not form. Pant has made an impressive return to the IPL after missing action for nearly 15 months because of a life-threatening accident in December 2022.

Asked about allrounders Hardik Pandya and Shivam Dube going into the T20 World Cup without a lot of bowling behind them, Rohit said they are experienced players and expects them to do what they have been doing in IPL.

"Expect them to do what they are doing in IPL. Unfortunately, Shivam hasn't bowled a single over in IPL. But he is a seasoned cricketer who bowls a lot of overs in red-ball cricket, so he knows how to bowl. It's just that when he plays the T20 format, it's just about a little bit of skills coming into the picture. The bowlers with some kind of skill set have good chances of having success in this format. So honestly we'll be expecting, if we need Shivam to bowl a few overs, he will be bowling a few overs. And the same with Hardik as well. He's been bowling regularly in IPL whenever it's been required. Like Ajit said, he's played all the games. So fitness wise there's no issue. So yeah, I mean all-rounders are supposed to do that -- bat, bowl, field, take some catches. And then we've got two spinner-allrounders as well who are quality as well. We'll be looking forward to having contributions from all these four guys. Not just these four guys, to be honest, all of us," said Rohit Sharma.

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