India Chief Selector Chetan Sharma has stated that Ravichandran Ashwin’s recent performances in the IPL have fetched him a spot in India's T20 World Cup squad. Sharma further stated that mystery-spinner Varun Chakravarthy will benefit the team in the slower wickets in UAE, given his variations.
The BCCI, on Wednesday, announced India’s squad for the ICC T20 World Cup in UAE, which is scheduled to begin on October 17. Ravichandran Ashwin was recalled to the shortest format after four years, having played his T20I against West Indies in Kingston in 2017.
Chetan Sharma, the chief selector, stated that Ashwin’s recent performances in the IPL have earned him a call to the squad. Ashwin, the sixth highest wicket-taker in IPL history, with 139 wickets from 159 games, has been one of Delhi Capitals' most reliable bowlers in recent times.
“See, Ravichandran Ashwin has been regularly playing the IPL. We have seen how well he has performed and definitely when we go to the World Cup, we need an off-spinner, everyone has idea that in Dubai and UAE, the later half of IPL will be played, so wickets might be low and slow, which will aid the spinners,” said Sharma during a virtual press conference.
“So it is necessary to have an off-spinner in the team, and because Washington Sundar is injured and Ashwin is an asset to the team and the way he has performed in the IPL, he has got place in the team.”
Varun Chakravarthy, who impressed everyone with the ball during the recent Sri Lanka tour also made it to the squad. Chetan stated that Varun, being a mystery spinner and the batsmen could find it difficult to read him, especially on spin-friendly wickets in the UAE.
“Varun has bowled really well at an economy rate of five in Sri Lanka. He is a mystery spinner and people find it difficult to read him. I would say he is the surprise package. This was the main reason to pick Varun as he is a mystery bowler.
“Ashwin is the only off-spinner. Varun is basically leg-spinner, mystery bowler, we haven’t understood, what will the batsmen understand,” he said.
“We have Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, so that was the main point, if the wickets are turning, then you have Axar and Jadeja with you. Hardik Pandya is one of the leading all-rounders India have, so the main aim was to just pack the team with all-rounders,” the 55-year-old explained.
India will begin their campaign against Pakistan on October 24 in Dubai.