As India and South Africa battle it out in the ongoing Test at the VDCA Stadium, Indian spin wizard Ravichandran Ashwin quietly made a return to the Indian playing 11 after a gap of 10 months. Ashwin, who last played a Test against Australia in December 2018, missed out on a total of five Test matches until he finally made a cut into the ongoing Freedom Trophy between the two nations. In his previous Test in Adelaide, Ashwin was instrumental in India’s win as he picked up 6 wickets in the match and scored a crucial 25 in the first innings. Even though he was part of the initial squad that toured Australia, Ashwin was not selected in the playing 11 for the remaining three matches of that series. The veteran was once again selected in the squad when Team India toured the West Indies in August 2019, where he failed to make a cut into the starting line-up. Legendary Indian batsmen Sunil Gavaskar has expressed his disappointment over his repeated exclusions made by the Indian team management.
The Indian team is currently hosting South Africa for a three-match Test series. The Indian team management finally selected Ashwin into the playing 11 in order to tackle the visitors with a spin-heavy attack. Even though the bowler straightaway made an impact in his comeback Test, former Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar has expressed his disappointment over Ashwin’s treatment by the team management. While speaking with the broadcasters, Gavaskar said that a talented bowler like Ashwin needs to have the confidence of the people around him. Gavaskar also added that Ashwin has always been subjected to unwanted comparisons whenever he has played in overseas conditions. Former Indian batsman cited the reason behind Ashwin’s struggle is the lack of comfort level shown to him by the team management.
Ashwin has represented India in 66 Tests, 111 ODI’s and 46 T20I’s, taking a combined 549 international wickets across all formats. He was also a part of the 2011 World Cup-winning team under MS Dhoni.