India’s premier spinner R Ashwin has been a leading force in world cricket when it comes to Test cricket. The senior off-spinner has claimed 377 Test scalps in 74 Tests at a sound average of 25.53. Notably, Ashwin could become only the fourth Indian to claim 400 or more wickets in Test cricket.
In the recently concluded Test series against Australia, R Ashwin was terrific across the first three Tests, claiming 12 wickets. He was successful against Steve Smith and got the star batsman on a number of occasions. Ashwin missed the fourth Test due to an injury.
We also know Ashwin is no mug with the bat. In the third Test at the SCG, he helped India earn a valuable draw, battling to score a 39*-run knock. His efforts will go down as one of the best for Team India in SENA nations.
Ashwin is a fighter, who also owns 2,467 runs with the bat. He has four Test hundreds under his belt. Of late, Ashwin has been India’s principal performer in Test cricket and has led by example.
In the past, the emergence of wrist-spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav saw Team India axe Ashwin from the limited-overs squads. Ash last played T20Is and ODIs in 2017. Since then, he has been shunned completely.
Even though Ravindra Jadeja made a comeback in both the formats with his left-arm spin on offer, Ashwin was discarded. Now looking at Ashwin’s numbers since 2017 in the IPL, he has done an able job. He claimed 38 scalps across the last three editions.
This highlights Ashwin’s capabilities with the white ball. Looking at his ODI career, Ashwin claimed 150 scalps from 111 ODIs at 32.91. In T20Is for India, he was the first to claim 50-plus wickets (52 from 46 games).
These are impressive numbers. There are many former cricketers who have batted for Ashwin’s inclusion in the limited-overs squad. There is no doubt that Ashwin is capable of making heads turn. He is experienced and can offer the extra bit with the wrist-spinners also on offer.
Of late, India haven’t utilized Kuldeep Yadav much, who is generally on the bench. The likes of Washington Sundar and Rahul Chahar have been called upon in the T20Is. Jadeja and Chahal are the two main spinners.
Having said that, Ashwin can definitely find a place in the squad. With the ICC T20 World Cup to be held in India later this year, Ashwin can be drafted into the squad and be called upon when required.
His variations, new skills and ideas can help the side in a positive manner. Finger spinners do have a say in today’s limited-overs matches and Ashwin with all the pedigree isn’t someone India should avoid.
In the IPL 2020 season, Ashwin has shown his mettle in the powerplay overs, getting several key batsmen like Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Jos Buttler. He is someone who can be an asset with the new ball, besides working with Chahal in the middle overs.
If India have to do well, then Ashwin could serve as a big plus. Ashwin’s variations which include the reverse carrom ball is something that India need to make use of.