Can Ravichandran Ashwin make a comeback in India's ODI and T20I squads?
New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: India on Sunday defeated England by seven runs in the third one-day international (ODI) to win the three-match series 2-1. For India, there were plenty of positives from the ODI series, including the form of KL Rahul and the return of pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
However, one thing which left the Men in Blue worried was the form of their spinners. In the three-match series, Kuldeep Yadav and Krunal Pandya were India's main spinners but the two didn't perform as per expectations and gave over 300 runs and picked just one wicket.
Even in the five-match T20I series, the Indian spinner -- Yuzvendra Chahal, Rahul Chahar and Washington Sundar -- didn't perform as per the mark and gave over 300 runs, picking just nine wickets.
The failure of the spinners in limited-overs, mainly Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, has become a huge concern for India especially at a time when the World T20I is just around the corner.
With the continuous failures of limited-overs specialist spinners, cricket experts and pundits have called for the return of Ravichandran Ashwin in ODIs and T20Is. Ashwin had last played an ODI in 2017 in the Champions Trophy but has been out of the squad since then, especially after the emergence of the wrist spinners.
However, since the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020, Ashwin seems to have regained his mojo in limited-overs formats. The 34-year-old had also performed brilliantly on the flat pitches of Australia in the recently concluded Border-Gavaskar Trophy and even outbowled Nathan Lyon, impressing experts and fans.
While India is struggling with spin options in limited-overs, experts and fans believe that Ashwin with his experience can help India in the ODIs and T20Is, especially at a time when the World Cup is around the corner.
"If I were the chief selector (now), I would have brought Ashwin back (to the white ball set-up). Why not? Because he is such an experienced bowler and he has variety. As they say, spinners mature late and he has done so well over the years. He is in terrific form in red-ball cricket. I think it will suit the team if he is brought back," said veteran cricketer Dilip Vengsarkar in an interview while calling for Ashwin's comeback.
Though Ashwin has regained the confidence of fans and experts, skipper Virat Kohli still feels that the 34-year-old won't be able to return to the limited-overs squad as Washington Sundar is "doing really well" for the Indian team.
"You cannot have two players of the same discipline, playing in one spot. So unless Washy has a drastically horrible season and things go south for him (this will not happen)," Kohli had said before the start of the India vs England T20I series.
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma