Why Ashwin should be included in the T20I world cup squad ?
India’s T20I World cup squad is set to be announced any day. Almost 90% of the team pick themselves and debates will be there for the last two to three spots, namely the spinners group. Strong candidates are Yazuvendra Chahal, Rahul Chahar, Ravindra Jadeja and Varun Chakravarthy. Of the above Yazuvendra and Jadeja are virtually automatic choices and probably one spot is up for grabs.
It is a bit strange that Ashwin has not been considered for T20 cricket in recent years inspite of his stellar performances in recent IPLs. In the 2019 and 2020 seasons, he has taken 10 wickets at 7.27 economy and 15 wickets at 7.66 economy respectively which is good enough to get selection for this champion off-spinner who has so much variety up his sleeve. In a 159 IPL match career so far he has taken 139 wickets. At an outstanding 6.9 economy and has taken 52 T20I wickets in 46 games at 6.98 economy.
It may be mentioned that in 2020 the IPL was played in UAE and Ashwin had an excellent tournament as above.
The grounds of UAE except for Sharjah are big and the pitches will definitely slow down by the world cup. After the phase 2 of IPL is completed by mid-October. Therefore it is going to be absolutely ideal conditions for Ashwin to show his craft and his skills.
Also, he is a useful batsman lower down the order and capable of getting some runs in any emergency.
Having not got a chance to play yet in the current India v England test series due to team combinations. Ashwin must be more hungry to contribute. He will obviously play in the remainder of the IPL for Delhi Capitals. Therefore will be match ready for the World cup if selected.
The only argument against his inclusion can be his slower movements in the field which can leak short runs. However, even a couple of other spin choices for India are not the best of fielders. Ashwin is playing regularly in IPL and his team Delhi Capitals coached by one of the greatest all-time fielders. Ricky Ponting, is coping with this aspect of him nicely.
Hence , it is a big question for selection committee as they really need to ponder on various aspects before taking a decision on what Ashwin can bring to the team for the T20I World cup .