Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were rested for the limited-overs series in Sri Lanka for the first time when the management had decided to try out the wrist spinners in the team. And Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal not only reaped a lot of success in that and subsequent series, the duo kept Ashwin and Jadeja out of the limited-overs side since then.
The latter, however, made a comeback later during the Asia Cup in 2018 and has been a regular member of the team since. But India’s number 1 spinner in Tests hasn’t been able to don the blue jersey again. Virat Kohli has backed the wrist spinners more due to their wicket-taking ability which has led to Ashwin becoming only a Test specialist nowadays and this has baffled the former Pakistan cricketer Saqlain Mushtaq.
He recalled how he was surprised after knowing that India had left out Ravi Ashwin from the ODI team. According to him, if a bowler can pick wickets in the Test format which is the toughest, then he can easily perform in the limited-overs form of the game as well.
Class is permanent, says Saqlain Mushtaq
“Class is permanent whether you are a finger-spinner or wrist-spinner. Your skills, game reading abilities matter a lot. I was surprised when Ashwin was sidelined from one-day cricket. He knows how to get batsman out in the five-day game, which is much tougher than limited overs cricket.
Anyone can do the containment job but someone who knows how take wickets can contain also. He knows both. How can you keep him out? You have to back your best players,” Saqlain was quoted as saying by NDTV. Ravi Ashwin has played 111 ODIs and 46 T20 Internationals and last featured in the limited-overs format for India during the West Indies tour in 2017.
He was the one who replaced Harbhajan Singh during his early days in international cricket. Saqlain Mushtaq also pointed out the same and also highlighted that India have tried many off-spinners in the last two-three years but none have matches Ashwin’s skills.
“They sidelined Bhajji (Harbhajan Singh) at the expense of Ashiwn back then. After Ashwin, you have tried many off-spinners but none of them has been of his class,” he added.
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