‘Who are Ashwin’s competitors?': Sanjay Manjrekar picks India's spinners for T20 World Cup
- Manjrekar said Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav are Ashwin's main competitors as leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal is certainty in India's XI for T20 World Cup.
Former India batter Sanjay Manjrekar is quite confident of Ravichandran Ashwin making it to India's T20 World Cup squad. The veteran off-spinner who made a surprise comeback in the last edition of the T20 World Cup in UAE but did not get to play all games, has again returned to the scheme of things. After last year's world event, Ashwin featured in the home series against New Zealand before being ruled out of the next series against West Indies and the following South Africa tour. He was ignored for the South Africa, Ireland and England series after IPL but made a comeback for the ongoing West Indies series.
Manjrekar said Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav are his main competitors as leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal is certainty in India's XI.
“Who are his competitors now? You've got Chahal who's confirmed for spinner on current form. Then you've got Axar Patel, you've got Jadeja who could do a bit of bowling. Hooda bowled one over in the last game, then you've got Kuldeep Yadav, you've got Ravichandran Ashwin," Manjrekar said on Sports18's show ‘Sports Over The Top’.
Ashwin has been quite good in the three matches against West Indies so far. He has picked up three wickets but hasn't conceded more than 8 runs an over in any of the matches in the series so far.
"I think Ashwin’s selection on this tour was an excellent one. In the last couple of years in the Indian T20 league, Ashwin has started making an impact," Manjrekar said.
The former India batter said the combination of Ashwin and Chahal is working well for India as the leg-spinner is taking all the pressure away from Ashwin, allowing him to bowl freely.
"I like Ashwin when he's with somebody like Chahal. So, the onus is not on Ashwin to change the tide. You know, the spinner’s job in T20 cricket, in the middle phase is to get wickets like Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj do for South Africa. That's where Ashwin lacked a bit as a T20 spinner. He focused a lot on the economy, but when you have somebody like Chahal, or if there's another wicket-taking wrist spinner, then Ashwin becomes a great compliment because Ashwin has mastered the art of being economical in T20 cricket. In the first T20, a couple of wickets was a great sign, but that's what you'll get with Ashwin, that compliment to the other main wicket-taking spinner in the team,” he added.