Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin’s comeback to India’s T20 World Cup squad was possible because of Rohit Sharma’s stand on it. On Wednesday, the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) announced a 15-member squad for the mega event to be played next month in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The inclusion of the Tamil Nadu off-spinner stunned the entire cricket world and allowed the bowler another go in his international career. Ashwin played his last T20 International match against West Indies in 2017.
Rohit Sharma backed Ravichandran Ashwin for selection when he was consulted by Indian selectors
According to a report by Times of India, BCCI and Indian selectors had asked Rohit about his opinion ahead of the selection meeting and India’s limited-overs vice-captain was adamant to get the lanky spinner back into the white-ball setup.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli, who had earlier suggested that Washington Sundar could be played, too agreed with the decision of playing Ashwin after the RCB all-rounder was ruled out due to a finger injury.
Ravichandran Ashwin will be valuable on slow pitches in the UAE:
Although Ashwin didn’t play for India in T20I cricket in the last four years, yet he was continuously featured in Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) and Delhi Capitals teams. Last season he picked 13 wickets at an economy rate of 7.66 in UAE, where the showpiece event will take place.
Rohit and Kohli both explained how the off-spinner could be valuable on the slow pitches and also marked his experience in the IPL over the last two years, where it was tough to hit him for big runs.
Out of the 52 wickets, the off-spinner has claimed from 46 matches, 40 of those wickets have come in Asia itself. Ashwin will be supported by his long-time spin partner Ravindra Jadeja with the likes of Axar Patel, Rahul Chahar and Varun Chakravarthy included in the preliminary 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup.
India will start their T20 World Cup campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on October 24 at the Dubai International Stadium.