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R Ashwin returns, MS Dhoni to be mentor

(File photo) India

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New Delhi:  Senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was on Wednesday included in India’s 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup alongside Ishan Kishan, Axar Patel and Varun Chakaravarthy.

The 34-year-old Ashwin last played white-ball cricket for India in 2017.

Kishan and Chakaravarthy have been rewarded for their consistent performance in the IPL and the few opportunities they got with the Indian team.

The T20 World Cup starts October 17 in the UAE and Oman.

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Squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami. 

Furthermore, iconic former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was brought in as mentor to the squad by the BCCI, a move that took everyone by surprise.

“Former India Captain M S Dhoni to mentor the team for the T20 World Cup,” announced BCCI secretary Jay Shah in a press conference to unveil the squad for the event scheduled to start October 17 in the UAE and Oman.

“(I) spoke to him in Dubai. He agreed to be mentor for WT20 only and I discussed with my colleagues and all are on same page. I spoke to captain (Virat Kohli) and vice captain (Rohit Sharma) and everyone agreed,” he added.

The 40-year-old Dhoni retired from international cricket last year having played his last game in 2019 World Cup semi-final.

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It is believed that he has been brought in for his experience in devising white ball strategy and for also knowing how to win crucial ICC tournaments which has not been the case with his successor.

One of the most successful captains in the history of Indian cricket, the enigmatic wicketkeeper-batsman led India to two world titles — the 2007 T20 World Cup in South Africa and the 2011 ODI World Cup in India. 

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