Cricket-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar has stressed the importance of a wicket-taker spinner more than keeping the run-rate in control. He indirectly asked Virat Kohli & Co to include R Ashwin in the playing XI
“India needs wicket-taking spinners. Any spinner who bowls to get wickets and not obsess over the economy is my guy,” Sanjay Manjrekar told ANI.
While the Indian bowling attack has been on a roll across formats in the last couple of seasons, the performance in the opening game against Pakistan in the T20 World Cup in Dubai on Sunday left a lot to be desired. Pakistan won by 10 wickets and that showed how the Indian bowling lacked bite to create an impact on the slowish Dubai pitch.
The Pakistan bowlers showed great adaptation skills as they picked seven Indian wickets. But for India, not just the pacers, even the spinners failed to rise to the challenge.
The spin bowling duo of Varun Chakravarthy and Ravindra Jadeja bowled their complete quota of overs but failed to pick a wicket.
While Varun was slightly expensive and finished with figures of 0/33 from his four, Jadeja managed figures of 0/28 off his four.
This after the two were preferred over R Ashwin for the big game. If the loss to Pakistan wasn’t bad enough, Pakistan going on to beat New Zealand has made Sunday’s game against the Kiwis a must-win encounter for Virat Kohli and boys.
The question is whether the Indian team management would look to fall back on its most experienced spinner in R Ashwin.
While he last played an international T20 against the West Indies in 2017, Ashwin has been an integral part of the Delhi Capitals squad in the last two seasons and has enough idea about the wickets on offer in Dubai as the last two seasons saw a complete season being played in UAE in 2020 and half the season being played here in 2021.
In fact, Yuzvendra Chahal could have been the perfect answer to the pointer thrown forward by Sanjay Manjrekar, but sadly he missed the bus for the T20 World Cup as the selectors believed Varun, Jadeja, Ashwin and Rahul Chahar are better options.