Dubai: While the Indian team is in the midst of their campaign in the Asia Cup, their star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin quietly flew in and out of the city on Tuesday due to his job as a panellist for one of the Indian news channels. Ashwin has been overlooked from India’s white ball scheme of things since the middle of last year.
The combination of leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav are filling in the spinners’ roles here and seem to be in the team management’s plans for the ICC World Cup next year. However, the 32-year-old Ashwin from Chennai is in no mood to throw in the towel easily.
“I didn’t do too much wrong to be going out in the white ball scheme of things,” the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year for 2016 said during a panel discussion Salaam Cricket 2018. “But I believe there is a zone where I needed to improve and achieve better things,” Ashwin said.
A member of the 2011 World Cup-winning squad, the man with 150 wickets from 111 One-day Internationals was last been seen in a blue shirt for a ODI in July last year and a T20 game just before that. “There is competition in the shape of Chahal and Yadav, and both have done extremely well in the last few months. One must give massive credit to them, but I do feel there will be a time at some stage because I didn’t go out due to bad performances,” he said in a loaded statement.
Ashwin’s reputation as a thinking cricketer precedes him — time and again he has shown he is not loathe to experimenting to add a new weapon in his armoury. If it was the carom ball in the early part of this decade, he made public a plan to try leg spin in the last edition of Indian Premier League where he captained Kings XI Punjab.
“I am hopeful of what I can achieve in any given game. I believe I can crack a game open with the way I bowl because I am a very brave bowler,” he said, before going on to add: “Keeping these things in mind, the World Cup is something which every cricketer wants to play and I do want to play it.”
The upcoming ODI fixture of India is a five-match series against the West Indies at home next month. The Chahal-Yadav duo, who failed to impress against rookies Hong Kong in their opening game in Asia Cup on Tuesday, better watch over their shoulders.