R Ashwin took just seven wickets in IPL 2021 [P/C: iplt20.com]
Ashwin is among the four spinners in Team India’s 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup. The lanky off-spinner put himself in the mix for a spot in the starting lineup against Pakistan with an excellent performance against Australia in the second warm-up encounter.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra was asked if he sees R Ashwin playing ahead of Varun Chakravarthy considering his great performance against the Aussies. He responded:
“Ashwin has done well but IPL was a huge sample size and there was nothing there, there were no wickets. Honestly speaking, you are looking for wickets. It is not how economical you can be.”
The former India cricketer added that teams need an attacking spinner in the middle overs. Chopra reasoned:
“We need wickets if you bowl in the middle overs so that you put a halt on the match there itself because if there is a set batsman and even if you have kept them under control, 70 runs can be scored off the last five overs.”
R Ashwin, who conceded an average of just 7.41 runs per over in IPL 2021, was not at his potent best. The wily spinner bowled a more restrictive line and picked up just seven wickets in 13 encounters.
“Pakistan will play off-spin well for sure” – Aakash Chopra on the things that go against R Ashwin
R Ashwin last played a T20I for Team India in 2017
Aakash Chopra highlighted that the plethora of right-handers in Pakistan’s batting lineup also goes against R Ashwin’s inclusion. He elaborated:
“You definitely want to go with an experienced player in a big encounter because he will absorb the pressure but the opposing team plays spin very well. They will play off-spin well for sure. All balls will be coming in, there is only Fakhar Zaman against whom you can take the ball away and that too if Ashwin bowls off-spin.”
The 44-year-old concluded by naming Varun Chakravarthy or Rahul Chahar as his second spin-bowling option alongside Ravindra Jadeja. Chopra said:
“Either I am picking Varun Chakravarthy or Rahul Chahar in my team. If Varun Chakravarthy is fit, he is my first choice spinner along with Ravindra Jadeja but if he is not fit, I will surely think about Rahul Chahar.”
Chakravarthy is likely to feature in Team India’s playing XI for tonight’s match against Pakistan. Ashwin could come into the scheme of things if the team management opts to play an additional spinner against the other sides in the group.