Curated By: Aakash Biswas
Last Updated: September 20, 2023, 08:11 IST
BCCI’s move to call up Ravichandran Ashwin for the upcoming 3-match ODI series against Australia, starting Friday in Mohali, has left the Indian cricket fraternity divided. On Monday, the duo of captain Rohit Sharma and chief selector Ajit Agarkar addressed a joint press conference in which they named the veteran off-spinner as the replacement for Axar Patel, who was injured in the Aisa Cup.
Ashwin last played an ODI in January 2022, against South Africa in Paarl, which remains his only appearance in the format in the last six years. His return seemed to have left Irfan Pathan surprised as the former Indian all-rounder called it a decision made with a lack of planning.
While speaking on Star Sports, Irfan was of the opinion that skipper Rohit and head coach Rahul Dravid should have given Ashwin enough matches before calling him up for the Australia series. The former all-rounder felt that it would be too much to expect from Ashwin in such a short period of time.
“You can’t get a better spinner than Ashwin in the entire world. But in a tournament as big as the World Cup, where there is immense pressure, you can’t expect a senior player to walk in and play for the team in a format which he hasn’t played for a long time and prove his worth. So you are leaving it entirely to fate,” Pathan told Star Sports.
“There is no planning here. Had there been a plan for Ashwin, they should have given him some game time before the World Cup. Yes, he will be playing against Australia, but is that enough? You have to bowl for 10 overs, and adjust in the team as well and give India that result. It isn’t that easy. Planning should have been better,” he added.
Former Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif, who was also a part of the discussion, emphasized that Axar’s injury won’t let him return soon.
“If Axar hadn’t been injured then we wouldn’t have seen this move and Ashwin would have never been in the scene. Now Axar has suffered a strain injury and that takes time to recover from. No matter what they say, he will be back in a week’s time, but such injuries take at least 2-3 weeks to recover from. That is why they went for the experience in Ashwin. And remember, there is no comparison between Ashwin and Sundar. He has 900 wickets (712) across formats!” he said.