Indian skipper Virat Kohli addressed the pre-match press conference ahead of the T20I opener against England in Ahmedabad. He spoke about the team’s preparations and how they are shaping up for this crucial series. The series in many ways is a dress rehearsal for the World T20 later this year in India. Meanwhile, India are on a seven-game winning streak heading into the first game at the Motera.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli also kept a word on Ravichandran Ashwin‘s future in this format. Ashwin has been India’s premier spinner in the red-ball format but has not played in the T20Is since the last three years. The 34-year-old off-spinner had also taken 13 wickets from 15 games in last year’s Indian Premier League, dismissing the likes of Kohli and Chris Gayle.
Speaking to reporters ahead of a five-match T20 series against England beginning Friday, Kohli said Ashwin could not be accommodated in the squad because Washington Sundar had already been performing well for the team in the same role.
Virat Kohli on R Ashwin
“Washington has been doing really well for us. You can’t have two players of same discipline playing in one spot, unless Washington has a drastically horrible season and things go south for him. You suggest where you would add Ashwin and play him in the team when someone like Washington does that job for the team” said Kohli.
Recently Sundar has been doing well in red-ball cricket too. In the little opportunities that he got, he has shown his promise with both bat and ball. He scored an 85* and 96* in the Test series against England. Washington is likely to feature in the first game on Friday.
The BCCI has named a pretty young squad and ones who have performed in the IPL consistently well in the last couple of years. Suryakumar Yadav has finally earned his maiden India call-up after consistent performances in domestic cricket and the IPL. The BCCI has also included players like Ishan Kishan, Rahul Tewatia who also performed well for their respective franchises. Picking the best XI for the five games thus would be a difficult job for the team management.