Team India is currently auditioning for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup in Australia starting from October 18, 2020. Veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who played his last T20I game in 2017 against West Indies, is still hopeful of making it to the first 15 who all will fly to the land of Kangaroos for the premier T20 event. The Men in Blues will be desperate to win the trophy this time around after failing to win an ICC event in the last seven years.
Since the emergence of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal in the limited-overs, Ravichandran Ashwin has been primarily a Test specialist. Although he has done exceedingly well in the Indian Premier League and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy – the domestic T20 competition, the selectors have not shown any interest to bring back the Tamil Nadu-born spinner in the fray.
Ravichandran Ashwin hopeful of playing T20 World Cup
More so, with the growth of Washington Sundar and Krunal Pandya, things have looked grimmer for the 33-year-old spinner. Speaking about the times when he lost his place from the limited-overs squad, Ravichandran Ashwin revealed that he went in depression and lost the joy of playing the game. However, he has finally overcome it and hopes to continue playing for India.
‘I enjoy playing day in, day out. But I felt somewhere in my career, because of the white ball snub and injuries, I had lost the joy of playing the game, which was very very dangerous for me. I could not watch the game on TV,’ R Ashwin told Mumbai Mirror. ‘That was something I did not enjoy. Thankfully I have gotten over it. I took the help of people, and I have gotten over it,’ he added.
Despite a long absence from limited-overs cricket for India, Ravichandran Ashwin still harbours a dream of playing for India in the ICC T20 World Cup. He draws reference of former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh, who came back from an injury to play the World Cup for India in the shortest format in 2014.
‘World Twenty20 is a realistic goal for everybody. Who does not want to represent India at the competition. Yuvraj Singh came back for World T20 in 2014 and then in 2017 Champions Trophy. I am only 33. As a spin bowler if I can keep my fitness going, keep learning and improving A lot of things can be delivered in the IPL with experience,’ Ashwin said.
Speaking further, Ravichandran Ashwin downplayed that T20 cricket is not only the youngsters. He noted that teams who believed in experience had gained more success in this format. Notably, Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League has an average age of over 30 but has reached the play-offs in all the editions they have participated in. West Indies, the reigning World Champions in this format have also mostly relied on experienced cricketers.
‘As much as people have called it a competition for youth and youngsters, teams who have invested in experience have succeeded. That is also the case in the World T20 arena. Vast experiences have gone on to win the World Cups. West Indies, for instance -Chris Gayle, Darren Sammy, Kieron Pollard, etc,’ Ashwin concluded.