How did Rohit Sharma’s backing help R Ashwin seal a place in India’s T20 World Cup squad?

Rohit was also the captain of the side which marked Ravindra Jadeja's comeback into the white-ball XI.

Saurabh Ganguly Author

Updated - 12 September 2021 9:49 pm

While it was Rohit Sharma who was the captain of the Indian side when Ravindra Jadeja made his comeback into the white-ball team, it is now being understood that the Hitman might have played a big role in Ravichandran Ashwin's inclusion in the Indian T20 World Cup squad. Notably, both the spinners had lost their places in the national team after India lost the Champions Trophy final to Pakistan in June 2017. While it was the batters who had collapsed in yet another big game, it was these two who were shown the exit door.

While Jaddu made his comeback midway through the Asia Cup under Rohit, Ashwin's selection has also a lot to do with Rohit's faith in the veteran off-spinner. As per a report carried by Times of India, it is claimed that Rohit played a key role in the team selection process and backed Ashwin to be a part of it. It was the vice-captain's insistence that helped him bag a spot in the side. When the ideas was being discussed in the meeting, captain Virat Kohli also was on the same page.

Skipper Kohli had earlier said that the selection doors will open for Ashwin only if Washington Sundar is not part of the plans anymore. This suggests that an injury to Sundar, who is out with a finger injury from the IPL too, could have helped Ashwin's case.

It is being reported that both Rohit and Kohli outlined how it has been difficult to play big shots against Ashwin in the IPL over the last two IPL seasons. Moreover, the pitches on offer in UAE also impacted the final decision.

Perhaps it is a consolation prize for Ashwin: Gavaskar

However, former India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar believes that while it is good news that Ashwin has been named in the squad, it could also mean it is a consolation prize for not picking him in the XI in any of the four-Test matches against England in the United Kingdom.

"Ashwin’s selection is good news for Indian cricket but whether he is included in the XI remains to be seen. He is chosen in the squad for the England Test series but has not been given a game yet. Perhaps it is a consolation prize for Ashwin to make up for his disappointment of the Test series," Gavaskar said on Sports Tak.

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