R Sridhar expressed bafflement at the way India has been picking Ravichandran Ashwin in their squads, offering no clarity as to whether he is a part of their plans for the upcoming World T20. He also discussed the team’s potential bowling lineup for the event and the best combinations available.
With the ICC World T20 in Australia about to begin in less than three months’ time, team India has been scratching their heads regarding their picks for the squad that’ll participate in the marquee event. At the moment, they have got a plethora of options at their disposal both in the batting and bowling department with several players performing impressively time and again. At the moment, Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar seem to be locked in as the premier pace options considering they might be the best T20 bowlers in the world as of now given their form. With Mohammed Shami more than capable of being the third pacer, India’s fast bowling positions are well and truly covered.
A key component of the side is bound to be their spinner of choice, given the tournament is being held Down Under. It is likely only one spinner will find his way into the lineup, making it imperative to make the right choice.
Following his displays in the Indian Premier League‘s latest edition, Yuzvendra Chahal seems to be the straightforward pick at the moment. He dominated the purple cap race by scalping 27 wickets and almost leading his team to their second title. However, at the same time, it is hard to ignore the lucrative option of Ravichandran Ashwin given the veteran’s experience and diverse skillset. Even though the 35-year-old managed only 12 wickets in IPL 2022, Ashwin has been bowling consistently in the international arena and remains a viable pick for the Men in Blue.
“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,” former Indian fielding coach R Sridhar was quoted saying by Hindustan Times.
However, the selectors seem to be caught in two minds when it comes to Ashwin as is reflected in his sporadic playing time. The spinner was left out of the squads against the Proteas, Ireland and England but out of the blue made a comeback against the West Indies. He was India’s primary spinner at last year’s World T20 as well where he performed decently enough but might be relegated to the role of reserve spinner this time around. Sridhar believes Ashwin’s abilities with the bat give him a slight edge as well but the primary option should continue to be Chahal for team India.
“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 playing 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