India have recalled the offspinner R Ashwin into their 15-man squad for the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup while dropping the wrist-spinning pair of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, while also preferring Ishan Kishan to Shreyas Iyer as a middle-order option.
Also omitted are Shikhar Dhawan, who led India’s white-ball squads in Sri Lanka most recently, and the allrounder Krunal Pandya. Iyer, Shardul Thakur and Deepak Chahar, who had a good tour of Sri Lanka, have been named as standby players for the T20 World Cup, to be held in the UAE from October 23.
MS Dhoni, the only Indian captain to win the T20 World Cup, has been named mentor for the tournament.
ALSO READ: WHY INDIA LOOK GOOD TO WIN T20 WORLD CUP
Ashwin, who will turn 35 this month, last played a T20I in July 2017. His recall after such a long gap owes, prima facie, to the absence of Washington Sundar who will not play a role in the tournament on account of a finger injury. Ashwin’s most recent T20s were in the IPL for Delhi Capitals before he withdrew for personal reasons as COVID-19 ravaged India. In five matches, he picked up one wicket. However, in 2020 when the IPL was shifted to the IPL, Ashwin claimed 13 wickets in 15 games while conceding runs at 7.66 as Delhi reached the final.
He joins a spin quotient comprising Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Rahul Chahar and Varun Chakravarthy.
The pace pool for India at the T20 World Cup features just three quicks in Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami. The fourth option is allrounder Hardik Pandya.
ALSO READ: TIME TO LOOK BEYOND YUZVENDRA CHAHAL?
India are pooled in group two of the T20 World Cup and play their matches on October 24 (vs Pakistan), October 31 (vs New Zealand), November 3 (vs Afghanistan) and two matches later that month versus to be determined teams from the qualifying stage.