T20 World Cup 2021: Rohit Sharma’s ‘backing’ helped R Ashwin’s selection | Cricket News


NEW DELHI: Midway through the Asia Cup in UAE in 2018, Ravindra Jadeja made a comeback into the Indian white-ball team under stand-in captain Rohit Sharma. “It has been 480 days since I played, so I will always remember this,” Jadeja had announced after the match. Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin were deemed ineffective in white-ball cricket after India lost the Champions Trophy final to Pakistan in June 2017.
It has taken four and a half years for Ashwin to rejoin Jadeja in the limitedovers setup. The off-spinner will also play in the UAE, at the T20 World Cup. This time too, it is Rohit Sharma who has had a role to play, TOI has learnt.
Rohit, it is understood, has played a major part in the selection of the team for the T20 World Cup. The board and selectors had sought Rohit’s opinion before the selection meeting and he was insistent on bringing Ashwin back into the scheme of things. Captain Virat Kohli too was on the same page when the idea was floated during the meeting.
Kohli had earlier suggested that doors would open for Ashwin only if Washington Sundar’s performances dipped drastically. Now that Washington has been ruled out with a finger injury, there was a slot up for grabs.
Rohit and Kohli both highlighted how Ashwin has been one of the toughest spinners to hit in the IPL over the last two years. The slow pitches in the UAE also played a major part in the decision.
There’s a theory within the Indian cricket board (BCCI) that Rohit, who captain Mumbai Indians in the IPL, needs to be given a larger role when it comes to the leadership group in white-ball cricket. There seems to be a growing imprint of the Mumbai Indians brand of cricket in Team India, just like there was a Chennai Super Kings imprint a few years ago.
The selectors went in favour of Mumbai Indians players while deciding between two players for one spot. Ishan Kishan was up against the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw and Sanju Samson. Even Rahul Chahar won the battle of leg-spinners as the seasoned Yuzvendra Chahal fell behind.
Ishan’s ability to float around the batting order and his wicketkeeping skills were highlighted by chief selector Chetan Sharma on Wednesday. What he didn’t mention is that these fresh faces from the Mumbai Indians stable are more used to winning the big moments that helps a team prevail in a tournament.




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