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T20 World Cup: Ravichandran Ashwin “rewarded for reviving his white-ball game”, says Virat Kohli

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Virat Kohli said that R Ashwin was rewarded for reviving his skills in the limited-overs format.© AFP

India skipper Virat Kohli highlighted the importance of finger spinners ahead of the upcoming Twenty20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman. India has included four frontline spinners in its 15-man squad for this showpiece event. A surprise addition to the Indian team was Ravichandran Ashwin, who last played white-ball cricket in 2017. Speaking on Ashwin’s call-up, Kohli said that the off-spinner was rewarded for reviving his skills in the limited-overs format.

“Ashwin has been rewarded for completely reviving his white-ball skills. He bowls with a lot of courage in white-ball cricket,” Kohli said during an interaction with the media organized by the ICC.

Kohli said Ashwin’s performance in domestic T20 competitions has shown his control over variations and control over pace which can come in handy during the upcoming T20 World Cup in the UAE.

“If you’ve seen the IPL over the years, he’s bowled tough overs, he’s bowled against top players in IPL, and hasn’t hesitated to put the ball in the right areas. The way spinners are power hitters. Can be intimidating. Hit the ball, but Ashwin believed in his skill set.

“We felt the way he was bowling and his variations and his control over the pace was something … could go out there and change the game with his mantras,” Kohli said.

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The India skipper further said that finger spinners can be more accurate than wrist spinners and he is banking on his bowlers to be consistent with their line and length.

“Wrist spinners were in demand, mostly during that middle period, but now with that precision finger spinners are back in the game, so we have to grow as a team with the evolving instincts of the game. Along with Ash and people like Ravindra Jadeja are also doing well. These guys can be very consistent,” Kohli concluded.

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