Indian captain Virat Kohli shared his thoughts on Ravichandran Ashwin‘s inclusion in the 15-member Team India squad for the T20 World Cup, which started on October 17 in Oman.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had picked as many as five spinners in the form of Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Varun Chakravarthy, Axar Patel and Rahul Chahar for the global showpiece event. However, the apex Indian board recently replaced Axar with fast bowler Shardul Thakur to provide more balance to the team.
Despite moving Axar into the reserves, India still has four spinners, who will come in handy on the slow tracks in Oman and United Arab Emirates (UAE). All eyes would be on Ashwin, who was indeed one of the surprise inclusions in India’s squad as the Tamil Nadu cricketer last played white-ball cricket in 2017.
Ahead of the warm-up fixtures, captain Kohli spoke about Ashwin’s call-up, stating the quality off-spinner was rewarded for refreshing his skills in the limited-overs format.
“Ashwin has been rewarded for reviving his white-ball skills altogether. He bowls with a lot of courage in white-ball cricket,” said Kohli during a media interaction.
The Delhi-lad asserted that Ashwin’s performances in the domestic T20 competitions, especially in the Indian Premier League (IPL), has been quite impressive as he has bowled the difficult overs against some top-quality batters.
“If you saw the IPL in the last couple of years, he’s bowled difficult overs; he’s bowled against the top players in the IPL and not being shy to put the ball in the right areas. Spinners can get intimidated by the way power hitters hit the ball, but Ashwin believed in his skill set,” explained Kohli.
“We felt like the way he was bowling and his variations now and his control over pace is something which is … again a lot of experience, a guy who has played a lot of international cricket and he’s at his confident best. These guys can go in there and change the game with their spells,” he added.
The India skipper further mentioned the importance of finger spinners, saying they can be more accurate and dangerous than wrist spinners. Kohli stressed on the fact that the presence of Jadeja and Ashwin will strengthen the bowling attack of the ‘Men in Blue’.
“Wrist spinners were the ones in demand, mostly through that middle period, but now the finger spinners with that accuracy have come back into the game again, so we also have to evolve as a team with the evolving trend of the game. With Ash and the likes of Ravindra Jadeja as well, performing beautifully. These guys can be very consistent,” Kohli concluded.
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