New Delhi. The BCCI has announced an 18-member Indian team for the five-match T20I series against West Indies. Rohit Sharma will be the captain of the team. At the same time, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal have been rested. Kuldeep Yadav and KL Rahul, who are out due to injury, are also named in this team. But, both of them will be able to join the team only after passing the fitness test. Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has also been included in this team. He has returned to the Indian T20 team after about 8 months. Ashwin played the last T20 match against New Zealand on 19 November. Since then, India has competed in T20 series against West Indies, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Ireland and England.
Ashwin took part in the T20 World Cup that was held in UAE last year. Then he returned to the T20 team after 4 years. However, everyone was surprised by this decision of the selection committee and the question in everyone’s mind was that how did this off-spinner return to the T20 team after 4 years? Actually, then Virat Kohli was the captain of the team and vice-captain Rohit Sharma. It was Rohit who played an important role in Ashwin’s return to the T20 team. Then Rohit had made Ashwin return to his team by pleading that he was experienced. His performance in the World Cup was good.
Varun preferred over Ashwin:
R Ashwin was not included in the playing XI in the opening matches against Pakistan and New Zealand in the T20 World Cup last year. Mystery spinner Varun Chakraborty was fed in his place. But, he could not leave his mark and India lost both these matches. After this, Ashwin got a chance to play the rest of the match in 3 matches and in this he bowled 12 overs and took 6 wickets at an average of 10.50. His economy rate was also less than 6 runs per over.
After this he got a chance in the T20 series against New Zealand, while Varun Chakraborty has not been able to play a single T20 for India since his poor performance in the T20 World Cup. In the 2nd match of the T20 series against New Zealand, Ashwin took 3 wickets while bowling economical.
Will Ashwin be Chahal’s partner in T20 World Cup?
Ashwin’s selection in the five-match T20I series against West Indies means that the selectors are looking at him as a contender for selection in the T20 World Cup squad. Varun Chakraborty’s poor performance and repeated injuries to T20 specialist Washington Sundar have brought a big opportunity for Ashwin.
If he performs well in the series against West Indies, then he can be seen as Yuzvendra Chahal’s partner in the T20 World Cup. Chahal was the highest wicket-taker in IPL 2022. At the same time, Indians have been bowling consistently since their return to T20. He has taken 15 wickets so far this year. In such a situation, as a first-choice spinner, his place in the World Cup team is almost confirmed.
Now Ashwin and injury-returning Kuldeep Yadav can make a place as their partner and the West Indies tour will play an important role in this.
Ashwin’s strength bowling in the powerplay
Ashwin’s biggest strength is his bowling in the powerplay. Along with taking wickets with the new ball, he is also capable of stopping runs. He has the ability to bowl under pressure. In the IPL too, he took 12 wickets along with scoring 191 runs at a strike rate of 141. That is, as both a bowler and a batsman, he can be of use to the team.
FIRST PUBLISHED : July 14, 2022, 15:45 IST