No room for match-winner Ashwin in India T20 squad: Kohli

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India's Ravichandran Ashwin in action against Australia at the Adelaide Oval on 18 December 2020.
India's Ravichandran Ashwin in action against Australia at the Adelaide Oval on 18 December 2020.
Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Ravichandran Ashwin's dream to play in the Twenty20 World Cup at home later this year could remain just that after skipper Virat Kohli said Thursday there was no spot for the record-breaking spinner in the Indian squad.

Ashwin, who last played for India in the shortest format in 2017, has been in top form, spinning India to a 3-1 triumph in the recent Test series against England.

He hit a century in India's second Test victory at Chennai and took his 400th Test wicket in the third Ahmedabad Test, the fastest to the mark by any Indian bowler in terms of matches.

Only three other Indian bowlers have taken more wickets than Ashwin in Test cricket, all of whom have retired.

The 34-year-old off-spinner had also taken 13 wickets from 15 games in last year's Indian Premier League, dismissing the likes of Kohli and Chris Gayle.

Speaking to reporters ahead of a five-match T20 series against England beginning Friday, Kohli said Ashwin could not be accommodated in the squad because Washington Sundar had already been performing well for the team in the same role.

"Washington has been doing really well for us. You can't have two players of same discipline playing in one spot, unless Washington has a drastically horrible season and things go south for him.

"You suggest where you would add Ashwin and play him in the team when someone like Washington does that job for the team."

Sundar, 21, made his Test debut against Australia this year and impressed with the bat during the England series with unbeaten scores of 85 and 96.

The spinner has also made a mark for himself in the IPL since making his debut in 2017.

India are due to host the T20 World Cup in October-November.

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