Kohli: Ashwin return a real positive

IND vs AFG, T20 WC 2021: Ravichandran Ashwin, who was returning to the shortest format in national colours after more than four years, took two wickets for 14 runs in his four overs.

Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin

Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin.   -  Getty Images

India captain Virat Kohli on Sunday said Ravichandran Ashwin's return to the T20I squad was "a real positive" after his side thumped Afghanistan by 66 runs in a T20 World Cup 2021 Super 12 Group 2 game.

Ashwin, who was returning to the shortest format in national colours after more than four years, took two wickets for 14 runs in his four overs. His first wicket, of that of Gulbadin Naib, was his first T20I scalp since August 2016.

"The return of Ash was a real positive. It was something he has worked really hard for. He showed this control and rhythm in the IPL as well. He's a wicket-taker and a smart bowler. When he does this, we get control of the middle overs. That's what I'm most pleased about," said Kohli heaping praise on the off-spinner, who is India's highest wicket-taker in T20 World Cups.

READ | T20 World Cup: All-round India thrashes Afghanistan for first Super 12 win

Kohli said the Net Run Rate (NRR) factor has been playing on the team's mind, provided the slim chances it has of qualifying for the semifinals. "NRR was on the back of our mind. We spoke in the team meeting that we have to focus on the chance we have and stay positive and hunt that chance down," he said.

Having praised the wicket, Kohli went on to add how his side could have sent a message in the games against Pakistan and New Zealand if it had had got off to stronger starts.

"In the other two games as well, if we just had two overs of that free-flowing batting capability, that could have sent the message to the opposition that we've put them under pressure."

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