Indian cricketer R Ashwin emerged into the international circuit after he debuted for the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL 2009. Ashwin only got two games for CSK in IPL 2009 but was given more chances in 2010. R Ashwin paved his way into the Indian courtesy his stunning IPL performances. The off-spinner has been India's leading spinner for the major part of the last decade.
However, since India's 2017 Champions Trophy debacle, R Ashwin has fallen out of favour from the Indian limited-overs side. R Ashwin has been struggling recently in white-ball cricket. The off-spinner is currently trying to make comeback into the Indian team.
Now, former Pakistan spinner Mushtaq Ahmed has stated the reason behind the failure of Test specialists R Ashwin and Nathan Lyon in limited-overs formats. Mushtaq Ahmed cited R Ashwin and Nathan Lyon's 'lack of variations' on flat pitches a reason behind their ineffectiveness. Both R Ashwin and Nathan Lyon are arguably the best Test spinners in the world right now but the duo hasn't managed to replicate their performances in white-ball formats.
Mushtaq Ahmed pointed out the likes of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav saying they have won so many white-ball games for India in the last two years because of their variations. He added that maybe the likes of Nathan Lyon, R Ashwin and Yasir Shah don’t have enough variations to survive in one-day cricket.
Mushtaq Ahmed, who has coached several teams around the world, further heaped praise on R Ashwin, Nathan Lyon as well as Yasir Shah for their performance in Tests. He then went on to explain the reason behind the success of mystery and wrist-spinners in ODIs and T20Is in recent years. Mushtaq Ahmed said Test cricket remains the ultimate challenge for the spinners as one gets to know their true skills.
Mushtaq Ahmed added that he admires the likes of Yasir Shah, Nathan Lyon, Moeen Ali and R Ashwin. He also lauded their contribution to Test cricket. He said that some of them have been successful in one day cricket also and added that the game has changed drastically since the '5 fielders rule' inside the 30-yard circle came into existence. For that, mystery spinners as well as wrist spinners like Adil Rashid, Adam Zampa, Yuvzendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav and Shadab Khan have become more effective.