Former India pacer Ashish Nehra has backed the selectors’ decision to include Ravichandran Ashwin in Team India’s 15-member squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup squad. He also asserted that the experienced off-spinner could come in handy in Australia as well.
While admitting that teams are unlikely to play too many spinners in Australia, Nehra told Cricbuzz: “Not too many teams will go to Australia with three spinners. Ravichandran Ashwin might not play, but he is there if needed. If India want, they can utilize him with the new ball or play him on big grounds. Also, if there are too many left-handers in the opposition, he could come into the equation.“Rohit Sharma knows that he can bank on Ashwin’s experience. That’s why the management is backing him.”
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Meanwhile, leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has been picked as Team India’s main spinner in the T20 World Cup 2022 squad. Axar Patel, who can bowl left-arm spin, has been added as well in place of the injured Ravindra Jadeja. Before the T20 World Cup, India will play against Australia and South Africa at home in three T20Is each.
Ashish Nehra commented: “Among all the names, Shami is the most important one for me. So good to see him back in T20I cricket. I would like to see the Shami that everyone saw in the IPL. I hope the selectors informed him about his T20I comeback in advance. It’s not about stats, but what kind of rhythm he is in. The more he plays, the better he will get.”
“India have always done well at home, but, close to the World Cup, it’s only not about results. In the squad announced for Australia T20Is, there is Deepak Chahar, Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Harshal Patel.”It is clear that the team management are looking more at the bowling side of things. Fast bowlers can get injured and have been injured, so extra pacers are being included,” Ashish Nehra again shared.
Meanwhile, Ashish Nehra has also stated that he will be slightly surprised if Virat Kohli opens the innings with Rohit Sharma in the upcoming T20I series against Australia. He also said that Team India will have to work on their batting department ahead of the T20 World Cup.
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“I will be a bit surprised if Virat Kohli opens. On a personal note, I have always believed that, in T20s, opening is the best place for Kohli. But now, the situation is such, it is not going to be easy for any coach, captain or selector because KL Rahul is there. I think we will see Rohit and Rahul opening in this series. Overall improvement is needed. We chased 148 with a lot of difficulty against Pakistan (in the Asia Cup). There are a lot of discussions around India’s batting order. Should Kohli open or bat at 3? Will Dinesh Karthik play or Rishabh Pant? Hopefully, you get more or less a clear picture in the six games ahead of the World Cup,” Ashish Nehra concluded.