WT20: In crunch tie, Ashwin bowls just two overs and concedes plenty

  • Ashutosh Sharma, Hindustan Times, Mohali
  • Updated: Mar 28, 2016 16:55 IST
Although he took a wicket against Australia and became the first Indian to take 50 T20I scalps, Ravichandran Ashwin was utilised by Dhoni for just two overs, conceding an expensive 31 runs. (AFP)

India managed to pull Australia back after a flying start, but in a curious case, skipper MS Dhoni gave Ravichandran Ashwin, his main strike bowler, just two overs. Australia ended up scoring 161 for six.

Before the start of the match, a virtual quarterfinal as the teams fought for the second spot in Super 10 Group 2 behind New Zealand, Ashwin was expected to be Dhoni’s go-to man. But the spinner looked off-colour, conceding as many as 31 runs in his two overs.

Australia came out all guns blazing as Usman Khawaja and Aaron Finch raised 52 in just 3.4 overs. After Jasprit Bumrah conceded 17 runs in the second over with Khawaja hitting four fours, Dhoni gave the next over to Ashwin, to turn things around. But Ashwin was treated with disdain by Finch, who carted two sixes over long on against the bowler who was almost unplayable in the earlier games.

Under pressure, Ashwin bowled wide outside leg stump as an attempted carrom ball failed, only to see the ball beat Dhoni and roll to the boundary for five extras. As many as 22 came off that over. It took a combined effort by Ashish Nehra, Bumrah and then the spinners to keep the scoring in check.

While the pacers managed to keep things quiet, left-arm spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Yuvraj Singh bowled sharply, giving away just 39 runs in six overs. Yuvraj, given a bowl for the first time in the tournament, took one for 19 while Jadeja conceded just 20 in his three overs although he went wicketless.

Ashwin did come back for one more over and had David Warner stumped for six. With that wicket, he became the first India bowler to pick 50 wickets in this format. But that was it for the spinner as Dhoni never turned to him in the death overs.

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