Senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin made a comeback to India’s white-ball outfit after four years as he was included in the 15-member squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup announced by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday (September 08).
With Ravindra Jadeja being there as a sure-shot selection, Rahul Chahar, Varun Chakravarthy and Axar Patel were also picked in the squad apart from Ashwin for the global showpiece event.
The 34-year-old last played limited-overs cricket for India in 2017 before being sidelined. However, he kept the momentum going by constantly proving his mettle in the Indian Premier League (IPL) as well for Tamil Nadu in domestic cricket.
Speaking about the squad selection, former India cricketer and currently the chief selector Chetan Sharma revealed the real reason that led to Ashwin’s inclusion in the outfit. Sharma termed Ashwin as an ‘asset’, stating that his performance in the cash-rich league attracted his selection in the final squad.
The 55-year-old reckoned the wickets are going to be slow in the Gulf Nation, and with IPL’s second-half scheduled to be played there, Ashwin becomes a key player for India. Injury to Washington Sundar also went in Ashwin’s favour, as explained by Sharma.
“Ravichandran Ashwin is an asset has been playing in the IPL regularly. He has performed well there. The wickets are likely to be low and slow as the IPL’s latter half will be played in the UAE, and that will help the spinners,” said Sharma in a virtual presser.
“When you go into the World Cup, you need an off-spinner. Spinners will get assistance, so having an off-spinner holds the key. Washington Sundar is injured. He has performed well in the IPL, so that is why he has found a place for himself in the squad,” he added.