T20 World Cup 2021: Graeme Swann backs Ravi Ashwin to feature in Team India’s playing XI

Ashwin played the two warm-up matches against Australia and England, but wasn't a part of the game against Pakistan.

Graeme Swann
Graeme Swann. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)

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Former England cricketer Graeme Swann reckoned that Ravi Ashwin should be a part of Team India’s playing XI for their match against New Zealand on Sunday in Dubai. The 35-year-old Ashwin made his comeback in limited-overs cricket after a gap of four years. In the first practice match against England, he couldn’t get a wicket, but got two scalps against Aaron Finch’s Australia.

However, he didn’t get to feature in the match against Pakistan on October 24 in Dubai. Swann, also a retired off-break bowler, said that the Men in Blue have the option of going in with three spinners for the game against the Black Caps. Swann said that Ashwin is someone, who has the potential to deliver in big matches.

He is a brilliant bowler, says Graeme Swann

“I would love to see Ashwin play, personally. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to have all three spinners playing,” Swann was quoted as saying on cricket.com.

“Who he plays for, probably one of the seamers or maybe Hardik Pandya if he is not going to bowl. I’m very biased towards spin so I would love to see Ashwin. He is a brilliant bowler; he’s got a lot of variation and he is a big-time player – he can really turn up and perform in a must-win game,” he stated.

The Tamil Nadu-born Ashwin last played T20 cricket for India way back in July 2017 during the tour of the West Indies.

Swann was also of the opinion that spinners operating in the first six overs may not be a great idea as it’s a defensive move. He also urged India to not use Varun Chakravarthy in the powerplay and rather, introduce him in the middle overs where spinners have a greater chance of making an impact.

“I don’t like the spinners bowling in the powerplay unless you’ve got someone like a Shakib who is brilliant at it. Because it’s almost a defensive move, as you’re trying to just stop being hit for boundaries.

“I don’t like someone like a Varun Chakravarthy bowling in the powerplay because I think if you bring him on after the sixth over, he can bowl you 4 overs for 10 runs and 2 or 3 wickets,” Swann added.