India captain Virat Kohli highlighted the importance of finger spinners ahead of the upcoming Twenty20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman. India have included four frontline spinners in their 15-man squad for the showpiece event. One of the surprise inclusions in India’s squad was Ravichandran Ashwin, who last played white-ball cricket in 2017. Speaking on Ashwin’s call-up, Kohli said the off-spinner was rewarded for reviving his skills in the limited-overs format.
“Ashwin has been rewarded for reviving his white-ball skills altogether. He bowls with a lot of courage in white-ball cricket,” Kohli said during a media interaction organised by the ICC.
Kohli said Ashwin’s performances in the domestic T20 competitions have shown control on his variations and control over pace that can be handy in the UAE during the upcoming T20 World Cup.
“If you saw the IPL in the last couple of years, he’s bowled difficult overs, he’s bowled against the top players in the IPL, and not being shy to put the ball in the right areas. Spinners can get intimidated by the way power hitters hit the ball, but Ashwin believed in his skill set.
“We felt like the way he was bowling and his variations now and his control over pace is something which is … again a lot of experience, a guy who has played a lot of international cricket and he’s at his confident best. These guys can go in there and change the game with their spells,” Kohli added.
The India captain further added that fingers spinners can be more accurate than wrist spinners and he is banking on his bowlers to be consistent with their line and lengths.
“Wrist spinners were the ones in demand, mostly through that middle period, but now the finger spinners with that accuracy have come back into the game again, so we also have to evolve as a team with the evolving trend of the game. With Ash and the likes of Ravindra Jadeja as well, performing beautifully. These guys can be very consistent,” Kohli concluded.