Ravichandran Ashwin last played white-ball cricket for India in 2017 when he represented the men in blue against the West Indies. Ever since India’s loss in the 2017 Champions Trophy final, the Indian team management has collectively preferred to go with the wrist-spinning duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal in limited-overs cricket.
Even though Ravindra Jadeja has been able to make a comeback, owing to his supreme all-around abilities, the doors seem closed for Ashwin in the shorter formats.
IPL 2021: Strong performance could pave way for selection in the Indian team
Ashwin had an extremely successful stint with the Delhi Capitals in last year’s IPL. Under Shreyas Iyer’s captaincy, the Chennai off-spinner picked up 13 wickets from 15 games and played a huge role in the side that reached their first-ever IPL final. Overall, the finger-spinner has picked up 138 wickets in the IPL with an effective economy of under 7.
After successful outings in the recent Test series Down-Under as well as at home against England, the off-spinner's confidence will be sky-high going into the IPL. Ashwin, known for his variety and smart bowling approach, will be keen to outwit his opponents when he dons the Delhi jersey.
Kuldeep and Chahal’s lackluster performances: a glimmer of hope for Ashwin’s comeback
In the last couple of years, there has been a significant dip in the form of both Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. The recent series against England saw both spinners being dropped from the playing eleven. There have been concerns raised regarding the ineffectiveness of Indian spinners as the young Washington Sundar and Krunal Pandya didn’t have much impact with the ball against England.
India skipper Virat Kohli, however, has quite clearly mentioned that Ashwin might not be considered for the T20s and ODIs for India as long as Washington Sundar, who is a similar customer, is performing well.
Regardless, seeing the current situation as well as Ashwin's experience and quality in white ball-cricket, the upcoming edition of the IPL could be the perfect platform for the Delhi Capitals spinner to change skipper Kohli’s mind. Being an intelligent bowler who relies more on variety and looks to stay ahead of the batsmen all the time, Ashwin would be keen to perform well in the upcoming IPL and stake a claim in the limited-overs national side with important world events lined up right around the corner.