Former cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar has questioned Ravichandran Ashwin’s inclusion in India’s T20 World Cup squad. The BCCI on Monday, September 12, announced a 15-member squad for the marquee T20 competition.
Ashwin is one of three spinners selected, with Axar Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal being the other two. Young leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi was ignored for the marquee event despite good returns in the recently concluded Asia Cup 2022.
During an interaction on the Sports 18 show ‘Sports Over the Top’, Sanjay Manjrekar was asked if he saw Ashwin fitting into the squad, considering he is neither the best fielder nor extremely handy with the bat. The cricketer-turned-commentator replied:
“I was surprised actually with his selection. I don’t think fielding is crucial in T20 cricket. I know a couple of brilliant catches can change the tide of the game but if somebody has got brilliant skills in batting and bowling, then maybe fielding can be ignored. I will just say that I didn’t expect Ashwin to be part of the squad but it’s happened.”
People question Ravichandran Ashwin's place in India's T20 World Cup squad are forgetting that he has 14 wkts in the last 10 T20Is for India at an Econ of 6.10, which is the best among Indian spinners with a min. of 10 wkts since 2021.
He is the best defensive spinner India has.
— Prasenjit Dey (@CricPrasen) September 13, 2022
Sanjay Manjrekar also asserted that pacer Harshal Patel was always in contention for a place in the T20 World Cup squad. The Royal Challengers Bangalore pacer recently recovered from an injury and spending a couple of weeks in rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy.
“Harshal was always going to be in the squad. He was always there in my squad of 15. But after the experience of the Asia Cup, Mohammad Shami should have come back into the plans and they could have maybe taken a tough call with another seam bowler,” he added.
“These are the little things that strengthen the case” – Sanjay Manjrekar on Arshdeep Singh
Sanjay Manjrekar further lauded young Arshdeep Singh, saying that he has got something special. The left-arm pacer was at his absolute best in the Asia Cup 2022, nailing yorkers at the death.
“Yes, because you can see that he has got something special. He bowled that famous over where he nailed the yorkers. These are the little things that strengthen the case of somebody like an Arshdeep Singh,” Manjrekar added.