Despite being economical in T20 cricket, Ravichandran Ashwin wasn’t considered for the Indian T20I squad till last year. However, keeping in mind how good he is against the southpaw batters, the team management called him up for the T20 World Cup 2021. The off-spinner was pretty average and the fans were convinced that his time in the T20I stint was over.
However, things changed for the veteran spinner when he was called up for the West Indies series. A certain section of the fans found it weird to see him feature in the squad as spinners like Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Ravindra Jadeja, and Ravi Bishnoi are already part of it. Again, his advantage against the left-handers played a part in his call-up.
Now, it’s tough for fans to understand the BCCI’s plans with Ravichandran Ashwin. Notably, his recent performance in the West Indies was pretty impressive. Giving his take on Ashwin’s place in the T20I team, former Indian cricketer, Sanjay Manjrekar believes that he can be dangerous if paired with the wicket-taking option of Yuzvendra Chahal.
While speaking to SPORTS18’s daily sports news show ‘SPORTS OVER THE TOP’, Sanjay Manjrekar said, “I like Ashwin when he’s with somebody like Chahal. So, the onus is not on Ashwin to change the tide. He focused a lot on the economy, but when you have somebody like Chahal, or if there’s another wicket-taking wrist spinner, then Ashwin becomes a great compliment because Ashwin has mastered the art of being economical in T20 cricket.”
Sanjay Manjrekar elaborated, “In the first T20, a couple of wickets was a great sign, but that’s what you’ll get with Ashwin, that compliment to the other main wicket-taking spinner in the team.”
At this moment, Ashwin’s future is hanging through the thread as there are a lot of options for Team India. If he manages to live up to the expectation, Ravichandran Ashwin can once again be a regular in T20Is. Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal are one of the most destructive spin duos that the cricketing world has ever seen. Despite their individual success in the IPL, Sanjay Manjrekar believes that the duo is unlikely to play together for India in T20Is.
Explaining the same, Sanjay Manjrekar said, “I don’t think that combination will be ever employed by India. At least in T20 cricket where you have Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav both playing together as two spinners. Either it’ll be Axar Patel or Chahal or it’ll be Ashwin or Chahal. If Chahal is unfit, then they might just play Kuldeep Yadav as a gamble in one of the games. I don’t see Chahal and Kuldeep getting reunited, maybe in 50-overs cricket they would.”