If I was Virat Kohli I would pick Ashwin & Jadeja ahead of Kuldeep & Chahal for the T20 World Cup: Monty Panesar | Cricket News


NEW DELHI: India skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri would want to check all the boxes for Team India before the ICC T20 World Cup begins in India later this year. Be it zeroing in on the first choice openers, picking the best fast bowling candidates, the best spinning options, and all-rounders, Virat Kohli and the Indian team management would want all the right weapons for the big stage.
Former England spinner Monty Panesar feels the Indian selectors and team management might have a bit of a dilemma on their hands when it comes to picking the first choice spinning options for the T20 World Cup. According to the former England spinner the recent form of spin duo Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav has put a big question mark on their selection.
Panesar rates ‘veterans’ Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja as better options over Kuldeep and Chahal.
In the last 10 T20Is that he has played, Chahal has taken 9 wickets. On the other hand, Kuldeep hasn’t got many chances in the shortest format of the game. After playing 9 T20Is in 2018, the Chinaman bowler featured in just 4 T20Is in the last two years (2 T20Is in 2019 and 2 T20Is in 2020). He last played a T20I match in India colours in 2020 (against Sri Lanka in Indore), where he took 2 wickets in his four overs, conceding 38 runs.

“The IPL will be a big litmus test for Chahal and Kuldeep. If they have a bad season, their T20 World Cup berths will be doubtful,” Panesar told Timesofindia.com in an exclusive interview.
“With the T20 World Cup coming up in October, Virat wants to pick his best spinners. It doesn’t matter who they are. Virat wants performers. That’s it. He has pacers and all-rounders and batsmen. The selection of spinners can worry him. I wouldn’t mind seeing Jadeja and Ashwin back in the fray. If I was Virat, I would pick Ashwin-Jadeja ahead of Kuldeep-Chahal for the World T20. That’s because of their experience and game-changing abilities. They both have all-around abilities. They both are big-match players. Why not pick them ahead of Kuldeep and Chahal?” Panesar asked.

Ashwin, who has played 78 Tests, 111 ODIs, and 46 T20Is for India so far, last played a T20I match way back in 2017 against West Indies in Kingston.
The 34-year-old Ashwin was the second-highest wicket-taker for India and fourth overall, in the four-match Test series in Australia. He claimed 12 wickets in 3 Tests, including one four-wicket haul.

In the four-match home series against England, Ashwin was the highest wicket-taker. He signed off the series with 32 scalps in 4 Tests, including 3 five-wicket hauls.
“With the World Cup coming up, Ashwin can play a big role. He has a brilliant mind. He is experienced. I would suggest Kohli should go for Ashwin and Jadeja in the World Cup. They are veterans and have won the games for India with both bat and ball. Cricket is a funny game. Things change pretty quickly here. Performers become non-performers and people who have been warming benches, shine. A lot of talent is coming up in Indian cricket. It is all about 2 or 3 bad games and there are other options who are waiting to take your spot,” Panesar further told TimesofIndia.com.
Interestingly, Panesar also feels a good IPL performance can also see veteran Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh joining the selection race.
“This IPL is about the Indian spinners. You can’t undermine Harbhajan Singh. Why not pick him in the World Cup squad if he has a good IPL season? I think he has some cricket left in him. Ashwin, Jadeja, and even Harbhajan will have the opportunity to be in the World Cup squad. All they need is to have a good IPL season,” Panesar said.
Interestingly, Harbhajan played his first competitive match after 699 days on Sunday, when he featured in the KKR playing XI for their tournament opener vs SRH. Bhajji in fact opened the bowling for the Knight Riders and almost took the wicket of the dangerous David Warner in the first over of the SRH innings, but Pat Cummins dropped a rather simple chance at point. Harbhajan though bowled just that one over in the match and KKR captain Eoin Morgan later said that Bhajji played a big role, advising and guiding the other bowlers during the match. Morgan has also said that since he joined the Kolkata camp, Harbhajan has shown more energy than anyone else.



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