Former India player turned veteran commentator Aakash Chopra feels Ravi Bishnoi’s impressive performances in the T20I series between India and Australia should hold him in a good space, considering the competition he is likely to face from other spinners for the T20 World Cup. However, Bishnoi registered figures of 2/29 in four overs as India defeated the Aussies by six runs in the final T20I in Bengaluru on Sunday. With nine scalps at an economy rate of 8.20, finished as the top wicket-taker in the series as well.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra said: “Ravi Bishnoi – if you talk about leg-spinners, this was an extremely important series for him according to me. He is the frontrunner currently but there will be pressure on him when you get close to the World Cup. The last two World Cups have taught us that as soon as the World Cup comes, Ravichandran Ashwin comes. I am not saying that Ravichandran Ashwin will come this time but he could come as well. The World Cup is in the West Indies, the ball is going to turn.”
Chopra further stated: “Yuzi (Yuzvendra) Chahal, Mayank Markande or Rahul Chahar could come. The list is long. So it was important for him to do well and he did well from the first to the last match.”
While, Mayank Markande and Rahul Chahar are not in the national reckoning currently, apart from Yuzvendra Chahal, Bishnoi will have to compete with Kuldeep Yadav, considering that only a solitary wrist-spinner might be picked for the mega event.
“There is one thing different in bilateral series. In World Cups, you play an opponent for the second time only in the semi-finals, but in bilaterals, by the fifth game, you know what the bowler does or what the batter does,” Aakash Chopra concluded. “Despite that, to remain effective, I think Ravi Bishnoi ticked a very important box. Bowling in the powerplay – ticked another very important box. He also bowled with a wet ball. So he has ticked all the boxes, barring one or two catches he dropped in the first match. So Ravi Bishnoi gets a huge tick mark.”