Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin

Team India chief selector Chetan Sharma on Wednesday (September 8) revealed good performances in the Indian Premier League (IPL) went in favour of experienced off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin as he was picked in the team for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup in UAE.

Chetan Sharma explains why Ashwin Named in T20 WC squad

In a surprise move, R Ashwin has been included in the team which will begin its campaign in the showpiece event against arch-rivals Pakistan. He had last played a T20I against West Indies in July 2017. Yuzvendra Chahal misses out as MS Dhoni will be the mentor of the team.

Dhoni in 2007 T20 World Cup
Dhoni in 2007 T20 World Cup

“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. 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.”

When asked how much role IPL played in selecting the team, Chetan said: “IPL is a big tournament where the best players around the world play. So you come to know about the performance of a player. The standbys have been picked keeping in mind that the players can get injured.”

“When it comes to Shreyas Iyer, when a player stays away from the game for a long period, the selectors have their reservations, that is why he has been named in the standby list. He will get chances in the IPL, his fitness can be looked at and that is why we have named him in the standby list.”

Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma

When asked about the opening options in the squad: “We have three openers. KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan. We back Ishan as an opener and in the middle-order as well. He can be fitted anywhere. Ishan Kishan is a flexible player, he has already opened. He is a good player of spin as well so he can be fitted in the middle-order. We have three openers for now.”

“Virat has brilliant records in the middle-order while batting in the T20s. The situation will determine who opens but as of now, we have picked three openers — KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, and Ishan Kishan.”

India squad for T20 WC 2021

Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rahul Chahar, Varun, Mohammed Shami, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishan Kishan.

Stand-byes: Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur.