Captain Rohit Sharma has asserted that veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is still in the scheme of things for India as a spin-bowling all-rounder in the white-ball format. Team India was recently hit by Axar Patel’s injury during the clash against Bangladesh as he was ruled out of the Asia Cup 2023 final.
Patel missed out on the summit clash due to a left quadriceps strain and the Men’s Selection Committee named Washington Sundar as a replacement.
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Even though Washington was included in the India squad as a replacement for Axar, Rohit said even veteran spinner R Ashwin is very much within India’s scheme of things as a spin-bowling all-rounder.
“As a spinner-all-rounder, Ashwin is in the line. I have been talking to him on the phone. The injury happened to Axar at the last minute. Washington was available, so he had to come and perform the role for us,” said Rohit in the post-match press conference.
Rohit suggested that he has clear communication with the players who are in the loop and revealed why Sundar was preferred over Ashwin for the mega-final.
“He (Washington) was cricket-fit because he was part of the Asian Games camp (in Bengaluru). I have been very clear with players about their roles. Everyone is in the loop,” he added.
However if one reads between the lines, if the team management wanted Ashwin that badly, he could have been summoned on a SOS basis with a less than an hour’s flight from Chennai to Colombo.
Ashwin last played an ODI for India in January 2022 against South Africa and he has been out of India’s 50-over set-up for over a year now.
Meanwhile, the Mumbaikar said the Asia Cup triumph has come at the right time for the team, and they have taken a lot of positives from the tournament ahead of the World Cup, starting next month.
“Throughout the tournament the guys stood up under pressure, and they performed their roles. We were slightly below par in some games (in fielding), but overall, our fielding was very good, slip fielding especially.
“We will have off days on the field, which is fine as long as you bounce back well the next day,” he added.