Ravi Shastri explains why Ravichandran Ashwin is no longer first choice in Test cricket
Not long ago, Ravi Ashwin was a significant member of Indian Test squad. With 342 Test wickets in 65 matches. But the off-spinner has seen a plunge in the past few years, mainly because of injury and emergence of youngster like Kuldeep Yadav. The 33 year old lost his place in the limited over format squads a few years back and now his spot in Test cricket has come under threat.
Ravi Ashwin did not play in any of the Test matches that India played with the West Indies recently eventhough he was in the squad. Ashwin has been selected for the forthcoming series against South Africa as well, but the question remains, will he get his game time? India head coach Ravi Shastri was recently questioned on why the spinner didn’t get a game against West Indies and if he is no longer an automatic selection in red ball cricket.
Ravi Ashwin has a decent bowling figures in red ball cricket against South Africa and was awarded the man of the series the last time South Africa came to India, pickin up 31 wickets in four matches.
Ravi Shastri briefly answered saying Ashwin was a tactical step taken by the team management and declined to let out any specifics. “Those are tactical things, which I can’t speak to you. You saw in the West Indies what happened, and now you will see the results. You can’t ask me who plays in the eleven because everyone is part of us,” Shastri said while speaking to Hindustan Times.
Ravi Shastri deemed Ashwin as world class bowler but also stated the same about competitors like Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav, who he feels will reach the same level as Ashwin. As per Ravi Shastri, the management will dicide on the spinner in the Test side in a years time.
“The three-Test series will start, (and) you will get a chance to make your own judgement. He (Ashwin) is world class, we got Ravindra Jadeja who is world class, we got Kuldeep Yadav who will be world class in due course, he is still young. You guys decide, in a year’s time copy the same question,” he said.
Ravi Ashwin is the fastest bowler to take 300 wickets in Test cricket and the fourth highest for India . He has also cumulated 2,361 runs, which includes four hundreds in red ball cricket.First published: 27 September 2019, 12:46 IST