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‘What is he doing in T20 cricket?’- Twitter raises questions for Ravichandran Ashwin’s inclusion in the T20I squad for West Indies tour

R Ashwin last played a T20I game in November 2019.

Ravindran Ashwin

Ravichandran Ashwin, the Indian right-arm spinner has been included in the India squad for the West Indies T20I series. His inclusion that has come after eight long months certainly threw cricket fans surprised.

Indian cricket board announced the T20I squad for the West Indies tour and it came with some interesting changes. Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah have been rested, meanwhile Ashwin, who hasn’t played a T20I match since November 2021 looked out of contention for the upcoming T20I World Cup, but his inclusion in the squad has thrown a new spin on the matter.

Ashwin’s last T20I match was against New Zealand on November 19, 2021, which India won on the back of a half-century from KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma. Ashwin bowled four overs in that match and took just one wicket giving 19 runs in the process.

He however continues to play T20 matches for his Indian T20 League team Rajasthan. In the recently concluded Indian T20 League, the Chennai-born took 12 wickets in 17 matches at an economy of 7.51. He also contributed with the bat on many occasions for the finalists. In 17 matches Ashwin made 191 runs at an average of 27.29 and strike rate of 141.48.

Ashwin has been in the news recently for his criticism of English pitches and dissatisfaction with the ODI format. Speaking on a podcast hosted by Michael Vaughan the Indian spinner said, “Even me as a cricket badger and a cricket nut, I switch off the TV after a point and that’s frankly very scary for the format of the game. When those ebbs and flows go missing, it’s not cricket anymore. It is just an extended form of T20.”

Ashwin has taken 61 wickets in 51 T20I that he has played for his country. His T20I career seemed to have faded but his surprise inclusion in the team raises many eyebrows. Twitter was flooded with opinions about this surprising move from Indian selectors. Let’s look at some of them.

 

 

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