T20 World Cup 2021: Rohit Sharma played big role in R Ashwin’s return to India’s T20I squad – Report

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday (September 8) announced Team India’s squad for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021.

The most notable selection in the 15-member squad was of veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who hasn’t featured in white-ball cricket for India since July 2017.

Amid the development, a report published in TOI suggests that India’s limited-overs deputy Rohit Sharma played a big role in Ashwin’s inclusion in the T20 squad.

As per the report, Rohit was asked about his opinion of Ashwin and he only had good things to say about the latter, insisting on the off-spinner’s return to the team in the shortest format.

Skipper Virat Kohli was also reportedly asked to share his thoughts on the Tamil Nadu tweaker and he had a similar verdict as well.

Earlier, Kohli had supported Ashwin’s inclusion but only in a case where Washington Sundar’s form drops drastically or he isn’t able to feature in the T20 World Cup. With Sundar being ruled out of the showpiece tournament, Ashwin was considered as the ideal candidate for his replacement.

During the meeting with the selectors, both Rohit and Kohli highlighted Ashwin’s importance, citing that he is one of the toughest spinners to hit in the IPL over the last two years. Moreover, Ashwin’s case received a huge boost considering the slow pitches in UAE.

According to TOI, BCCI wants Rohit to take up a bigger role in the leadership group when it comes to white-ball cricket. The way MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings had dominated the T20I selection in the past, Rohit’s Mumbai Indians seem to be creating a similar impact.

Notably, five MI players, apart from Rohit, found a place in India’s T20 World Cup squad and their names include Hardik Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishan Kishan and Rahul Chahar.