Since an unexpected exit from the World T20 last year, India has undergone a massive change, with Yuzvendra Chahal coming to the fore in their spin attack. The leg-spinner wasn’t a part of the previous T20 showpiece event but he is on course to cement his spot in the upcoming competition in Australia. At present, Chahal leads the race, while senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin also remains a contender, having been recalled to the Twenty20 set-up for the recently-concluded series in West Indies.
It remains to be seen whether the selectors will go with Ashwin as lone off-spinner for the impending World T20, but former opener Aakash Chopra believes the tweaker will play the tournament. Ashwin is also a part of India’s 15-member squad for Asia Cup 2022.
“Ravichandran Ashwin – he was suddenly an out-of-the-box selection at the last World Cup as well. Here also just before the World Cup he went to the West Indies and is now in the Asia Cup squad, will play the World Cup again, that’s what it seems. I think it’s not about who is good or who is bad but the point is what sort of a spinner you need,” said Chopra on his YouTube channel.
Chopra also underlined Ashwin’s impact in the IPL but said his performance in the Indian team will depend on the role that he is assigned.
Ashwin was a crucial cog within the Rajasthan Royals unit, whom he joined during the IPL 2022 mega auction. The 35-year-old took 12 wickets in 17 matches and also gathered 191 runs. Incidentally, his spin partner was Chahal, who finished as the leading wicket-taker of the 10-team tournament.
“He has played five matches since the last T20 World Cup, picked up six wickets, which is not bad, more than one wicket per match. He had an average of 20 and an economy of 6.1, he has been very good, and has done exceptionally well in the five matches he has played,” Chopra added.
“But the last IPL’s numbers, he plays all the matches now, there he had 12 wickets in 17 matches. He had an economy of around seven, he is always economical, but the average is over 40 and strike rate above 33.
“If you are giving him a defensive role, he will do it to perfection. But if you are expecting wickets from him, be prepared that it might not happen. What role you define for him, that is very important for me,” he elaborated.