India

  • Last Updated: September 19 2012, 11:53 BST

We take a look at India's squad, key players and hopes at the ICC World Twenty20.

Yuvraj Singh: Back after battling cancer

Group A Fixtures:
September 19: Afghanistan at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo, 1500 BST
September 23: England at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo, 1500 BST

Overview: Inaugural winners in 2007, India have a record to set straight in 2012 after meek last-eight exits in the two subsequent renewals.

Coach Duncan Fletcher and captain MS Dhoni took a touch too long in finding their collective groove, but the teething problems are over, in limited-overs cricket at least, and now is the time of the reckoning.

The most telling statistic at the fore of the brains trust's minds will be India's inability to crack on after gliding through the initial group stages - the past two events have seen them lose all six of their Super Eight fixtures.

Meanwhile, the recalls of Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh are both gambles. Dhoni has put his full faith in post-illness Yuvraj, who brings vast experience as well as formidable all-round talent in this form of the game. If fit enough, his selection is more than just a heartwarming tale. Harbhajan's selection ahead of a plethora of young spin talent, however, is perhaps less understandable and requires prompt answers on the field.

Strengths: No strangers to major tournament finals, India have seen it all before, and will know exactly what it takes to go all the way again. How they translate that experience and head knowledge into results, though, remains to be seen. A vast array of part-time spinners are now very much a part of India's attack, with batsman Yuvraj, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma and Manoj Tiwary all offering something extra. Virender Sehwag's recent injury ahead of the second T20I against New Zealand showed the team's batting versatility, with the classy Virat Kohli promoted to the top of the innings with seamless ease and the rest all moved up one position.

Weaknesses: A handful of the squad have been picked on their form in the Indian Premier League, which is a decidedly lesser stage than international cricket. Scoring runs and taking wickets against homegrown talent and international recruits chasing overnight success and a quick buck is considerably easier than taking on the world's best where there are not the weak links found in IPL teams. While India's youngsters are generally top-class fielders, the likes of Gambhir, Sehwag, Zaheer and Harbhajan will take some hiding for Dhoni.

Six-hitter: Virat Kohli. The right-hander has had a stunning year that sees him regarded by most observers alongside Hashim Amla as the finest batsman in the world today. He has enjoyed success across the three formats, but the one-day games have been his forte for some time now, with his ODI average standing above 50, while he blasted 70 against New Zealand at the top of the order in a recent T20 clash. India's new star has the talent, strokes and maturity to truly establish himself as a great of the age over the coming weeks.

Strike bowler: Irfan Pathan. The left-armer has been in and out of the India side for much of the last decade and has performed a variety of roles from opening bowler to opening batsman. Finally, though, he appears to be truly nailing down a role in the one-day side as a bowler and has picked up six wickets in his last two T20 internationals with his lively swing bowling.

One to watch Yuvraj Singh. The stylish left-hander is always worth watching anyway - who could forget those six sixes off Stuart Broad? - but this tournament is something special for Yuvraj who is back in India colours after suffering from cancer. His return is a genuinely heartening, uniting tale in what has been a tough time for cricket and only the hardest of hearts would deny him success in Sri Lanka.

Squad: MS Dhoni (capt, wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Piyush Chawla, Ashok Dinda, Gautam Gambhir, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Virat Kohli, Irfan Pathan, Suresh Raina, Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, Manoj Tiwary, Yuvraj Singh