Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar feels that veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has done enough in the last two seasons of the Indian Premier League to be start taken seriously for the T20I level for the Indian cricket team. Ashwin played for Kings XI Punjab last season, as their skipper, before being traded to Delhi Capitals this year.
Ashwin finished with 15 wickets in 14 games last season at an economy rate of 7.27 and has taken eight wickets in nine games this season at an economy rate of 7.33.
Manjrekar, recalling his performance against Kings XI earlier this week, said that Ashwin has been economical while bowling the tough overs this season.
In the last two seasons, he has bowled in the powerplays 19 overs, taking eight wickets at an economy rate of 7.42 and strike rate of 14.2. And in the middle overs, he has picked 12 wickets in 22 innings while conceding runs at 7.69 an over with a strike rate of 27.6.
"Ashwin has always been flying under the radar. That day, in the game against Kings XI, when Chris Gayle was looking so dangerous, he was the man to dismiss him. He has bowled on good length, been economical and bowled the tough overs as well. He has out in some important performances," said Manjrekar in conversation with ESPNCricinfo.
Manjrekar also feels that Ashwin will face tough competition from Washington Sundar, who as well has been impressive for the Royal Challengers Bangalore this season.
"I'm sure he will be challenging Jadeja for sure for the spinner's spot in white-ball cricket. Washington Sundar will be the one he will be in conflict with, the one selectors will be talking about. And Sundar had a great time with RCB this season and has the tendencies to play those cameos where it will get a little tough. But yes, Ashwin has done enough in the last two season to start being taken as an option for T20 cricket for India at the international level," he added.
With the T2- World Cup canceled for this year and scheduled for next season, the performance of players in this and the 2021 season will provide selectors with a perspective for selecting the World Cup squad.