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India revealed their 15-member squad for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 on Wednesday, September 8, with off-spinner R Ashwin returning to the white-ball squad and MS Dhoni named team manager.
Kohli's team will kick off their campaign in Dubai on October 24 against Pakistan in a Super12 match.
Apart from Pakistan, India is in Group 2 with Afghanistan and New Zealand, as well as two teams who advance from Round 1 of the event, which starts on October 17th.
The top two teams in each group of the Super12 stage progress to the semi-finals, with the final set to be played in Dubai on 14 November.
Ashwin, a 34-year-old off-spinner, returns to the limited-overs fold after four years since playing a T20 for the national side in July 2017.
Chief selector Chetan Sharma called Chakravarthy's inclusion a "surprise package" for the opposition teams.
Opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan remains one of the notable omissions from the squad after he recently led India on a limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka.
Sharma said Dhawan has been rested and "will be back soon".
Wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have also been left out with the selectors opting for Chakravarthy and legspinner Rahul Chahar instead.
Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel come in as all-rounders while Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah lead the pace pack.
Indian Premier league (IPL) stars Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan -- both part of holders Mumbai Indians team -- have made the squad.
Sharma said the left-handed Kishan gives the batting flexibility with his ability to open and bat in the middle order.
"We have three openers. We have Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan who can bat as an opener and fit in the middle-order as well," said Sharma.
"Ishan is giving us opportunities...He is a good player of spin in the middle overs. If need of the hour arises to make Kohli open and the management thinks it that way then it's fine, otherwise we have three openers."
The World Cup runs from October 17 to November 14.