India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin leaves legends ‘confused’
With the T20 World Cup just two months away, almost every cricket pundit has been picking his best Indian cricket team for the mega event in Australia. While some of them have spoken in favor of veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin’s inclusion in the final 15 for the prestigious competition Down Under, others have simply dismissed his chances to make it to the team led by Rohit Sharma. However, former India fielding coach R Sridhar has urged the team management and the selectors to include R Ashwin in the side for the tourney.
R Sridhar termed Ashwin “legendary” and threw his weight behind the off-spinner for his prowess in the shortest version of the game.
“You can bowl Bhuvi and Shami twice and now that Hardik is bowling and Jadeja is an all-rounder, we have the fifth and sixth bowler covered. Now put in a leg-spinner in the mix, and that is grandmaster Chahal. That to me is the bowling combination India should go with. And if push comes to shove, you have the legendary R Ashwin to go back to. It’s T20 cricket and he’s a man who can ask so many questions,” Sridhar told Cricket.com.
But unlike Sridhar, others were not sure about Ravichandran’s place in Team India for the T20 World Cup.
“It is a big question. Regarding Ashwin I am totally confused. Why was he not dropped, then why was he not there, then why was he not play the T20 in England and then suddenly why is he in the T20s for the West Indies? It is confusing for all of us. Because your first spinner is Jadeja. Second is Chahal or Axar Patel or Ashwin or there will be a reserve spinner. Out of these four only two will go. Ideally…don’t know Ashwin…may be because of his all-rounder capabilities. But my first option would be Chahal because he is the wrist spinner,” Kris Srikkanth had opined.
R Ashwin’s T20I career, however, is up in the air as he’s no longer a certainty in India’s playing eleven, with Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel being the preferred spinners.
But former India batter Sanjay Manjrekar believes that Ashwin has proven his worthiness in the T20s in the last two years and that’s why it won’t be a surprise if he is picked for the T20 World Cup in the Kangaroo land later this year.
“I like Ashwin when he’s with somebody like Chahal. So, the onus is not on Ashwin to change the tide.” The 57-year-old added,“He focused a lot on the economy, but when you have somebody like Chahal, or if there’s another wicket-taking wrist spinner, then Ashwin becomes a great compliment because Ashwin has mastered the art of being economical in T20 cricket. In the first T20, a couple of wickets was a great sign, but that’s what you’ll get with Ashwin, that compliment to the other main wicket-taking spinner in the team,” Manjrekar told SPORTS18.
“I don’t think that combination will be ever employed by India. At least in T20 cricket where you have Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav both playing together as two spinners. Either it’ll be Axar Patel or Chahal or it’ll be Ashwin or Chahal. If Chahal is unfit, then they might just play Kuldeep Yadav as a gamble in one of the games. I don’t see Chahal and Kuldeep getting reunited, maybe in 50-overs cricket they would,” Sanjay Manjrekar concluded.