Pakistani spin legend Saqlain Mushtaq has questioned veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin's exclusion in the limited-overs format. Ashwin has not featured in white-ball cricket since 2017 and is only selected in the national team for Test series. The Tamil Nadu cricketer was a part of the Indian squad that had emerged triumphant in World Cup 2011 and the ICC Champions Trophy 2013.
“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", said Saqlain.
“He knows how to get the 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”, he added.
Over the course of the years, R Ashwin became so important to CSK that his release from team almost came as a surprise ahead of the IPL 2018. Ashwin recently sat down for an ESPNCricinfo podcast with former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar. During this podcast, R Ashwin revealed his initial struggles in the MS Dhoni-led CSK team.
Ashwin reflected on a 2010 match against RCB where he was destroyed by Mark Boucher and Robin Uthappa. He reflected on how he did not have the correct mindset for T20 cricket and felt that it was easier to bowl in the format as compared to first-class cricket.
After two bad games, R Ashwin was sacked from the playing XI and had to vacate his hotel room to watch the next CSK game from home. Ashwin reflected on how the incident was humbling for him but also made him question the support he had gotten from the team. He added that he was upset with coach Stephen Fleming who he had looked up to a lot.
Ashwin explained how Fleming had not even talked to him about his performances or any improvement that he could make. "I was sitting at home watching CSK games and making promises that one day I will turn the tide," Ashwin reflected.