Monty Panesar, who was one of the main architects of India’s last defeat at home in 2012, said that Team India skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri should begin their hunt to zero in on the team for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. The former England spin veteran thinks that the Indian management have a big challenge on hand when it comes to picking the first choice of spinners for the T20 World Cup. The eighth edition of ICC Men’s World Cup 2021 is scheduled to be played between October and November this year and will be hosted in India.
In an interview, Panesar told Timesofindia.com that the recent form of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav has put their selection in doubt. The veteran bats for players like Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja as better options than the youngsters.
“The IPL will be a big litmus test for Yadav and Chahal. If they have a bad season their T20 World Cup selection will be in doubt,” he said. Panesar went on to add that skipper Kohli will want to pick his best spinners and it doesn’t matter to he has a choice for fast bowlers, all-rounders and batsmen. Whereas the selection of spinners can be a worrying issue for him.
Panesar’s views may not be unfounded as in the last 10 T20Is, Chahal picked just nine wickets. Yadav hasn’t got many chances and he last played in just four T20s in the last two years. The Chinaman bowler could only pick two wickets while leaking 38 runs from his four overs against Sri Lanka.
On the other hand, Ashwin last played a T20I match way back in 2017. But his recent outings against Australia and England in the longest format of the game make him an obvious choice for Panesar. Ashwin claimed 12 wickets in three Tests in the away tour against Australia. In the four-match bilateral home series against England, he scalped 32 wickets. He was the highest wicket-taker in that series, including three five-wicket hauls.
The former English spinner further termed that “Ashwin can play a big role” and suggested Kohli should opt for Ashwin and Jadeja in the upcoming tournament.