Seasoned off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had made a return to India’s white-ball squad in the T20 World Cup last year, with Varun Chakaravarthy and Rahul Chahar being the other two spinners. Cut to the present day and all three tweakers are not a part of the impending T20I series against Sri Lanka. The trio didn’t feature in the recent home assignment against the West Indies as well.
The T20 side has gone through a significant change in the past couple of months. While a few players have fallen out of favour, some have endured injuries to make their spell in Indian colours a disorganized one.
Former India batter Aakash Chopra has weighed in on the constant chopping and changing, saying the Covid-19 regulations has made it easy for selectors to pick a big squad.
“It is sad because too many changes are happening. COVID has made the selectors’ job very easy, they can pick everyone. But after that, you become trigger-happy. The two spinners you had picked in the T20 World Cup, you wouldn’t have picked them with closed eyes, you don’t even know where Rahul Chahar and Varun Chakravarthy are,” said Chopra on his YouTube channel.
“They have totally forgotten them. Ravichandran Ashwin was the third spinner, he is also missing at the moment because of injury. But I don’t think even if he was fit, you would have played him in the T20 team,” he further added.
Venkatesh Iyer and Ravi Bishnoi were bright spots for India in the recently-concluded home series against West Indies. Venkatesh seems to slowly develop as a sixth-bowling option and finisher too. Bishnoi also picked up three wickets in three T20I games to put up an impressive display in his maiden outing.
Talking about the current T20I set-up, Bishnoi is a part of the spin unit along with Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. Axar Patel and Washington Sundar, on the other hand, remain unavailable due to injuries.
Chopra further explained how lack of consistency doesn’t help in achieving long-term goals. With Sri Lanka T20Is and the IPL coming up, head coach Rahul Dravid and skipper Rohit Sharma will look to sort their team composition ahead of this year’s T20 World Cup in Australia.
“What is happening? When there is no consistency in selection, there is no long-term process, you do goal setting but how do you reach there because every few weeks you get a new player.
“If you don’t give proper opportunities to the new players and don’t get them prepared, you are actually doing a disservice. There has been a question of consistency in selection in the last little while. Therefore, I think it’s about time to put your foot down, get it sorted,” Chopra elaborated.
India are scheduled to lock horns with Sri Lanka in three T20Is and two Tests, with the first match of the series to be played in Lucknow on Thursday.