Ravi Shastri reveals why Ravichandran Ashwin is no more an automatic choice in Tests
Ravichandran Ashwin's Test career graph has suffered a massive slump in the past couple of years as he finds himself battling with the likes of Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav to regain a permanent spot in the Indian side. Ashwin is arguably one of the finest spinners India has ever produced and his record in Tests speak for themselves. However, Ashwin seems to have fallen out of favour in Tests, as well after remaining sidelined from ODIs.
Indian head coach Ravi Shastri was recently asked about not playing Ashwin in the two-match Test series against West Indies and if the experienced spinner is no more an automatic choice in Tests. Ashwin, who holds a terrific record in West Indies in Tests, was overlooked in the two-match series last month which India won 2-0. Apart from a drop in form, injuries have also hampered Ashwin's progress in Tests.
Explaining why Ashwin was not picked in the Test series against West Indies, Shastri said it was a tactical move from the team management without delving much into details. "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 was quoted as saying in an interview.
He further called Ashwin world-class and said India will have a clear picture of the spin spearhead in the Test side in one year's time. "The three-Test series will start, (and) you will get a chance to make your own judgement. He 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," said the Indian head coach.
Ashwin, who holds the record for being the fastest to 300 Test wickets, has played 65 Test matches for India, scalping an impressive 342 wickets at an average of 25.43 including 26 five-wicket hauls and seven ten-wicket hauls. Ashwin has also been a significant contributor with the bat having notched up 8700 runs in the longest format of the game.