Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin last played a T20 game way back in July 2017. Since then, he hasn’t been considered for the shorter formats because he can’t score quickly with the bat and is slow on the field. However, Ashwin excelled in Tests and entered the 400-club of wicket-takers with five centuries to his credit.
Yet, Ashwin didn’t make it to the playing XI in the four Tests against England in the ongoing series — almost making it a national issue. The netizens aggressively batted for Ashwin’s inclusion. Just when his future looked bleak, the selectors played a masterstroke.
Keeping in mind the major left-handed stroke-makers in other teams, India needed a quality off-spinner, and there can’t be anyone better than Ashwin.
So what if Ashwin isn’t a regular in the shorter formats of the game for India? Ashwin is still a top performer in IPL for the Delhi Capitals and if the national team wasn’t ready to use his experiences, what can he do? Is there any point in staying on when there is no regular place for him in the Test team?
The board members led by its secretary Jay Shah and chairman of the selection committee Chetan Sharma may have read between the lines. At the end of it, you can’t lose a talented player like Ashwin, can you?
So what if he is almost 35? The Chennai-based spinner has plenty of cricket left in him. If the national team still can’t accommodate him, there is no point in hanging in there. You could still hang your boots in international cricket and continue playing IPL like MS Dhoni.
But as luck would have it, Ashwin got the backing from the selectors and senior functionaries of BCCI in the nick of time. He must be ecstatic about his World T20 chances. Whether or not the Indian team management uses his services is nothing but speculation now. This Indian team has Dhoni as a mentor — exciting news for Ashwin to have an old pal in the changing room!