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T20 World Cup 2021 | Ravichandran Ashwin can really turn up and perform in a must-win game, says Graeme Swann

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R Ashwin dismissed two batsmen for eight runs versus Australia in the warm up match

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T20 World Cup 2021 | Ravichandran Ashwin can really turn up and perform in a must-win game, says Graeme Swann

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SportsCafe Desk

10/30/2021

Former England cricketer Graeme Swann feels that Ravichandran Ashwin is a big match performer and he can make a difference with his performance in a must-win fixture against New Zealand for India. Swann further added that Ashwin can come in place of Hardik Pandya if he is not going to bowl.

India had a disappointing start to the T20 World Cup 2021. They lost their tournament opener to Pakistan by a huge margin of 10 wickets. The team combination in the fixture versus Pakistan came under a lot of scrutiny as the team played with five specialist bowlers and there wasn’t any sixth bowling option. India played with the pace trio of Bhuvnehswar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami, while the two spinners were Ravindra Jadeja and Varun Chakravarthy. All these bowlers had a bad day against Pakistan where they were unable to pick a single wicket defending 152. 

India will play their next fixture against New Zealand on October 31 and the match becomes important for them in the context of making it to the semifinals with the loss in the opening match. It will be interesting to see whether team captain Virat Kohli makes changes in the playing XI and opt for the sixth bowling option or will play with the unchanged lineup from the previous match. Former England cricketer Graeme Swann is of the opinion that R Ashwin can be given a place in the playing XI. 

"I would love to see Ashwin play, personally. I don’t think it’s about three spinners playing. Who he plays in place of – probably one of the seamers or Hardik Pandya if he is not going to bowl. Yes, Shardul Thakur is also an option," Swann said on Cricket.com.

Ashwin has made a comeback to the T20 side after a gap of four long years. He last played limited-overs cricket for India in 2017. Ashwin leaked 23 runs without a wicket against England in the first practice match while he was more effective versus Australia and picked two wickets for eight runs in the second warm-up tie. Swann has stated that Ashwin should be given a place in the playing XI as he is a big-time player and can perform in must-win games.

"I am very biased towards spin so I would like to see R Ashwin in. He is a brilliant bowler. Got a lot of variations and is a big-time player. He can really turn up and perform in a must-win game," he concluded.

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