India’s squad announcement for the 20-20 World Cup was one of the most debated topics back then. Prominent among those was Ravi Ashwin’s inclusion in the team. The off-spinner had not played a T20I since 2017 and was out of the favor due to the emergence of young talents in the white-ball formats. However, when the 15-member squad was picked by the BCCI selection panel, Ashwin was preferred over Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav.
Now, the BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has revealed that it was the skipper Virat Kohli, who wanted Ashwin in the team. The off-spinner was not handed an opportunity immediately in the showpiece event. He was given a chance after two games and Ashwin made it count by picking six wickets.
“I wasn’t sure whether he would be a part of the white-ball (set-up). But then Virat Kohli wanted him in the side. And whatever little bit of opportunity he got, I thought he was superb,” Ganguly said Boria Majumdar’s show ‘Backstage with Boria’. Ganguly also said that Ashwin’s fantastic Test record makes him hard to ignore.
“Look at his Test record, it is phenomenal. It does not need me to say Ravichandran Ashwin is exceptional. His record and his performances show that he is exceptional. And you can’t ignore such players. You cannot just turn your eyes and say that he’s gone. I am not surprised with what he is doing,” said the former Indian captain.”
“Everybody speaks about him. Look at Rahul Dravid’s statement after the (Kanpur) Test match – he called him an all-time great and one of the biggest match-winners. You don’t need rocket science to judge Ashwin’s talent. My appreciation just comes from what I see. It may be Ashwin, it may be (Shreyas) Iyer, it may be Rohit (Sharma), it may be Virat (Kohli). And I just say what I see. There is nothing more to it,” he added.