'He hasn't rediscovered anything': Ex-India player analyses R Ashwin's T20I return
Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra on Sunday analysed Ravichandran Ashwin's "phenomenal" return to the T20I format, saying that the veteran spinner has done nothing different nor has he "rediscovered anything".
With Washington Sundar missing the cut for the T20 World Cup with an injury, India picked their next-best option as an off-spinner in Ravichandran Ashwin. He was benched for the first two matches in the tournament in the UAE before making the XI, for the first time in the international format since 2017, against Afghanistan.
In the five matches he played hence, Ashwin picked nine wickets in 20 overs at just 5.25 economy rate without being hit for a single six.
Sharing his views on his YouTube channel on the veteran's return to the format, Aakash said, "Ashwin has been phenomenal in the last five games, if we see from the Afghanistan match to the second T20I. He has played five consecutive matches, has been economical every time and taken wickets every time. Everyone is asking how Ashwin has turned it around? But he hasn't rediscovered anything."
Aakash also highlighted that Ashwin has been consistent in the last few years in the Indian Premier League (IPL) as well. In the last three seasons, he has picked 35 wickets at an economy rate of 7.45, conceding a boundary every eight balls.
"He had not gone anywhere, you had not picked him. If you see any one year in the last eight to ten years, when was Ashwin hit in the IPL? He plays 14 matches, he is a four-over bank," Aakash added.
"He was a four-over bank when he was dropped as well. There have been three IPLs in between, he was a four-over bank there as well. He never gives more than 25-30 runs in his four overs, once in a while everyone gets hit, and he takes wickets as well."
The former Indian opener also added that nothing about Ashwin's remarkable return has left him surprised, poiting out that his performance only reflects his experience in the game.
"He bowls in different phases of the game - with the new ball, in the middle and can bowl even till the 15th or 16th over. He is not doing anything exceptional, the guile and quality he has. Just the experience is coming to the fore. Please don't be surprised, I am not at all surprised that why Ashwin is doing so well."