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WI vs. IND 2022 |  Totally confused by India’s approach to Ravichandran Ashwin, admits R Sridhar

R Sridhar expressed bewilderment over how India chose Ravichandran Ashwin in their squads, without clarifying whether he is part of their plans for the upcoming World T20. He also discussed the potential team composition for the event and the best combinations available.

With the ICC The World T20 in Australia is set to begin in less than three months with the Indian team scratching their heads over their picks for the squad to take part in the showpiece event. At the moment, they have a plethora of options at their disposal in both the batting and bowling department, with several players performing impressively time after time. At present, Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar appear to be locked in as top-notch pace options considering they could be the best T20 bowlers in the world to date given their form. With mohamed chami more than capable of being the third point guard, India’s fast bowling positions are well and truly covered.

A key part of the team is bound to be their spinner of choice, given that the tournament is taking place in Australia. It’s likely that only one spinner will find its way into the lineup, making it imperative to choose the right one.

Following his demonstrations in the Indian Premier Leaguethe latest edition, Yuzvendra Chahal seems to be the direct choice at the moment. He topped the purple cap race by scalping 27 wickets and nearly leading his side to their second title. However, at the same time, it is difficult to ignore the lucrative option of Ravichandran Ashwin given the veteran’s experience and diversity of skills. Even though the 35-year-old only managed 12 wickets in IPL 2022, Ashwin bowls regularly on the international stage and remains a viable choice for the Men in Blue.

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“You can play Bhuvi and Shami twice and now that Hardik is bowling and Jadeja is all-rounder, we have fifth and sixth bowlers covered. Now throw a leg-spinner into the mix, and it’s Grandmaster Chahal. For me, this is the bowling combination that India should go with. And if the going gets tough, you have the legendary R Ashwin to come back to. This is T20 cricket and he is a man who can ask so many questions,” former India manager R Sridhar said as quoted by the Hindustan Times.

However, the selectors seem to be caught in two minds when it comes to Ashwin, as evidenced by his sporadic playing time. The spinner was dropped from the squads against the Proteas, Ireland and England but out of the blue made a return against the West Indies. He was also India’s main spinner in last year’s World T20, where he played quite decently, but could be relegated to the reserve spinner role this time around. Sridhar believes Ashwin’s batting abilities also give him a slight advantage, but the main option should continue to be Chahal for the Indian team.

“That’s a big question. As for Ashwin, I’m totally confused. Why wasn’t he let go, then why wasn’t he there, then why didn’t he play the T20 in England and then suddenly why is he in the T20 for the West Indies ? It’s confusing for all of us. Because your first spinner is Jadeja. The second is Chahal or Axar Patel or Ashwin or there will be a reserve spinner. Of these four, only two will go. Ideally…I don’t know Ashwin…maybe because of his versatile abilities. But my first option would be Chahal because he is the one who turns the wrist,” he explained.

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