In a surprise call, Senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was on Wednesday included in India’s 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup alongside Ishan Kishan, Axar Patel and Varun Chakaravarthy. The 34-year-old Ashwin last played white-ball cricket for India in 2017. The development comes even as the ace spinner was excluded from the playing XI in the last 4 Test matches in England, raising questions to the team management. He has now been rewarded for his excellent show in the longest format at home and consistency in the IPL.
“Happiness and gratitude are the only 2 words that define me now,” R Ashwin wrote on micro-blogging site after selection.
2017: I wrote this quote down a million times in my diary before putting this up on the wall! Quotes that we read and admire have more power when we internalise them and apply in life.
Happiness and gratitude are the only 2 words that define me now.🙏 #t20worldcup2021 pic.twitter.com/O0L3y6OBLl
— Mask up and take your vaccine🙏🙏🇮🇳 (@ashwinravi99) September 8, 2021
Chief selector Chetan Sharma said that good performances in IPL led to Ashwin’s selection in T20 WC squad.
“Ravichandran Ashwin has been playing in the IPL regularly. He has performed well there. When you go into the World Cup, you need an off-spinner, everyone has an idea that the wickets in the UAE will get slower as IPL will also be played there. Spinners will get assistance so having an off-spinner holds the key,” Sharma said.
“Washington Sundar is injured and Ashwin is an asset for the team. He has performed well in the IPL so that is why he has found a place for himself in the squad,” he added.
Ashwin last played a T20I in July 2017 against the West Indies. He captained the Punjab team in the IPL in the 2018 and 2019 seasons, bagging 10 and 15 wickets respectively. Ashwin shifted base to Delhi Capitals in 2020 and picked up 13 wickets at an average of 30.07 and an economy of 7.66 in his first season for the side. He featured in five of the eight matches that the Capitals played in 2021, and managed a solitary wicket while he had an economy of 7.73.