#NewsBytesExplainer: Reasons why Ashwin could make a comeback in T20Is
Ravichandran Ashwin has been the mainstay spinner for India in the longest format since 2014. The 33-year-old, who was earlier a regular in the Indian set-up across formats, has now been restricted to Test cricket. However, he has time and again proved his mettle in the shorter formats as well. Let us decipher why Ashwin could still make a comeback in T20Is.
The Indian spinner has so far represented India in 46 T20 Internationals, having claimed 52 scalps at 22.94. Ashwin boasts a terrific IPL record too, with 125 wickets to his name at an incredible average of 26.48. He had a decent run in the 2019 IPL edition, leading Kings XI Punjab. Ashwin picked up 15 wickets at 26.66 with a best of 3/23.
Let us split Ashwin's T20I career into two halves (Debut to September 2014 and October 2014 to present). In the first half, he snapped up 25 wickets from 26 matches at 29.28. His economy-rate read 7.32. Meanwhile, the second half propelled his average to 17.07 as he grabbed 27 scalps from 20 T20Is during the period. His economy-rate further improved to 6.49.
Over the years, Ashwin has mastered quite a few deceptive variations in limited-overs cricket. His carrom ball to Hashim Amla in the World T20 2014 was termed the ball of the century. Ashwin recently admitted that he was bowling the reverse carrom ball during the IPL 2019. He also opened up on the number of variations he still possesses.
Ashwin has featured in three T20 World Cup editions for India (2012, 2014 and 2016). He has 20 wickets to his name 16.70 in the ICC tournament. His spectacular record may tempt Team India to rope him in for the upcoming edition.
India are going to require their seasoned campaigners for scaling heights in the impending T20 World Cup. Ashwin's presence in the line-up will not only be helpful for skipper Virat Kohli, it will also boost the morale of young Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. Furthermore, his ability to provide early breakthroughs as a specialist off-spinner may do wonders in Australia.
"I like to use the arm ball in first few overs as it forces batsmen to go across the line. The others are floaters that swing, the one that pitches in and goes out or the other one that moves the other way," Ashwin said.