Till the last minute, ace off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin wasn’t ready to believe that he would in the 15-member Indian team for the World T20 to be held in the UAE. Like no one imagined MS Dhoni mentoring the team for one-off event, expecting Ashwin to be in the sqad was a far fetched dream for many.
Reason? Bowling wise, no one can complain much since Ashwin has bowled in all formats over the years with authority. It was only the reputation that he cannot score briskly and his slowness as a fielder which kept him away from white ball cricket.
Still, he was not given any explanation as to why he isn’t playing in the shorter formats for India.
Ashwin being Ashwin never lost hope and did whatever he could do as a cricketer to keep himself ready for the shorter formats. With so many big left-handed strokemakers in the world, there isn’t any better option than an off-spinner like Ashwin and so the selectors picked him without hesitation.
When all the players were holidaying in England, Ashwin played for Surrey County to hone his skills. However, all came to a standstill when the team mangement ignored him for four consecutive Test matches against England. Many, including the selectors and top BCCI officials, were shocked. Ashwin surely deserved a better treatment.
Now that Ashwin is picked, BCCI has also ensured that someone like Dhoni is in the T20 team as a mentor – – in agreement with captain Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri – – we can expect the best XI taking the field. And why not? When we have the best team in the world, where is the scope for a mediocre performance now?
Besides, Dhoni is a former world champion captain and some of the board members like secretary Jay Shah must have deliberately placed him to make the most from this talent pool.
The only missing link is Shikhar Dhawan, who lost out because of inconsistent form. From here on, he may find it tough to play T20 game for Indi. So much so that brilliant track record in ICC events won’t matter anymore. Even leggie Yuzvendra Chahal would be wondering where he went wrong!