Ravi Ashwin is going to be an important factor for India in the knockout stage: Kobus Olivier
The veteran spinner took three wickets while conceding just 22 runs to bowl out Zimbabwe for 115 runs.
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India ended their T20 World Cup 2022 group-stage campaign with a big 71-run win against Zimbabwe at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Sunday (November). The Indian team had already secured the semi-final spot after South Africa's surprising defeat against Netherlands. Pakistan secured the top-two finish in the Super 12 Group 2 with a big win against Bangladesh.
India made only one change to their squad with Rishabh Pant coming in for Dinesh Karthik but there were no place for the likes of Yuzvendra Chahal and Harshal Patel. India put in a big total of 186/5 while batting first with Suryakumar Yadav and KL Rahul scoring impressive fifty-plus knocks.
Indian bowlers also bowled impressive spells from the start and restricted Zimbabwe to just 115 in 17.2 overs. Ravichandran Ashwin proved the best bowler for India with three wickets while conceding 22 runs from his four-over spell. But Axar Patel struggled for the similar impact at MCG and conceded the highest 40 runs with one wicket.
Ashwin can be a class bowler at MCG: Kobus Oliver
Ashwin had taken only three wickets from the opening four games and fans were questioning management's decision to choose the veteran with Chahal warming the bench. But now Ashwin's performance confirms that he will be starting for India in the semi-final round and probably in the final at MCG. Kobus Olivier, CEO of the Ukraine Cricket Federation, pointed out that Ashwin's impact at MCG can prove a big factor for India in the next two games.
"India already knew that they are in the semis so they were working on different roles for the bowlers and I think they played a perfect T20 game today and everything went according to their plan. With Ashwin showing that at MCG, with his experience, he can be a class bowler and going to be a factor in the next games," Kobus Oliver said in BatBricks7 Run Ki RunNeeti post-match show on CricTracker.