Ahead of the third T20I between India and New Zealand at the Eden Gardens, former India batter Aakash Chopra analysed Ravichandran Ashwin’s “phenomenal” return to the shortest format of the game. He stated that the veteran off-spinner has done nothing different nor has he “rediscovered anything”. Ashwin, who hadn’t played a T20I since 2016, was named in India’s squad for the T20 World Cup in the UAE. After missing the first two games of the tournament against Pakistan and New Zealand, Ashwin played in the third game against Afghanistan, returning figures of 2/14.
Since then, he has played four more games, including the first two games of the recently-concluded T20I series against New Zealand, taking nine wickets in 20 overs at an economy rate of 5.25 and without being hit for a single six.
“Ashwin has been phenomenal in the last five games, if we see from the game against Afghanistan to the second T20I. He has played five matches on the bounce, has been economical every time, and has picked up wickets every time. Everyone is asking how Ashwin has managed to turn it around? But he hasn’t rediscovered anything,” Chopra said in a video uploaded on his YouTube channel.
Chopra also highlighted that Ashwin has also been consistent in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the past decade or so.
For the record, the 35-year-old, in the last three IPL seasons, has picked 35 wickets at an economy rate of 7.45, conceding a boundary every eight balls.
“He had not gone anywhere; the selectors did not pick him. If you see his record in the last eight to ten years, when was Ashwin hit in the IPL? He is a seasoned campaigner, he is a four-over bank,” the cricketer-turned-commentator added.
“He was a four over bank even when he was dropped from the team. He never gives more than 25-30 runs from his quota of four over. Everyone gets hit once in a while, but he also takes wickets,” Chopra added.
Chopra signed off by saying that nothing about Ashwin’s remarkable return in T20Is has surprised him, also pointing out that his performance only reflects the experience he has got.
“He can bowl in different phases of the innings – with the new ball, in the middle and can bowl even till the 15th or 16th over. The guile and the quality he has in store, I’m not even surprised that Ashwin is doing so well,” he concluded.
Topics mentioned in this article