Senior Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has been in the headlines for the past few days. Firstly, he grabbed attention for his non-selection in four Test matches against England during India’s UK tour. Then, the Tamil Nadu spinner became a major talking point after he was picked in the 15-member India squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021.
The thing which surprised many is that Ashwin is not a regular white-ball player for Team India. Although, he does play in the Indian Premier League (IPL) every season. Ashwin’s last appearance for his nation in the limited-overs setup came in 2017 in a T20I game against West Indies in Jamaica.
Now fans are excited to see Ashwin in the blue jersey again. However, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar seems a bit doubtful over Ashwin getting a chance to feature in the multi-team tournament.
In fact, Gavaskar termed Ashwin’s selection in the T20 World Cup squad a ‘consolation cup’ by the selectors in order to make up for his absence during the Test series against England. The cricketer-turned-commentator reckoned the right-arm spinner was a part of the Test squad as well, but he wasn’t given a place in the playing XI, and a similar thing might happen in the global showpiece event.
“Ashwin’s return is a good thing, but we’ll have to wait and see if he gets a place in the playing XI. You have selected him in the 15, that’s alright, you chose him in the squad in England as well but are not giving him the chance in the XI. So, he’s perhaps just given a consolation cup to make up for the disappointment that he might have from here (in England). Will he play in the XI? Only time will tell,” Gavaskar told SportsTak.
Apart from Ashwin’s comeback in the white-ball cricket, another update that excited fans was the appointment of former India skipper MS Dhoni as Team India’s mentor for the T20 World Cup. Gavaskar spoke on Dhoni’s inclusion, stating that India will definitely benefit from the presence of Dhoni in the camp.
“MS Dhoni being the mentor is bigger news than Ashwin’s selection because a captain, who led India to the 2011 World Cup and 2007 T20 World Cup wins. If he’s in that camp, then India will immensely benefit from it,” Gavaskar added.