Ravichandran Ashwin, on Monday, admitted that he needed to improve his skills in white-ball cricket in order to retain his place in the team.
While the off-spinner continues to spearhead India’s spin department in Tests, he has fallen down the pecking order in coloured clothing. Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, another senior spinner, have lost their places to young duo of leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and chinaman Kuldeep Yadav, who have done well to become automatic selections.
It would be safe to say that Ashwin’s ODI career has been stalled since the 2015 World Cup in Australia.Since that 2015 World Cup, Ashwin has featured in just 15 ODIs, taking 17 wickets at 40.58. His last ODI appearance came in June 2017 during the tour of West Indies.
Things started getting bad for Ashwin from last year’s Champions Trophy. He could not make it to the playing eleven for the first two games. But returned to the side after India lost to Sri Lanka. In a winner-takes-all match against South Africa, he gave India a much-needed breakthrough with the wicket of Hashim Amla. However, he fared poorly against Bangladesh in the semifinal and was below par in the Oval final against Pakistan.
After that final defeat, he bowled in two matches in the Caribbean and has not been recalled since then.
Ashwin admits that he needed to do more but insisted that he did not do much to face the axe. He is also hopeful of getting a recall in the future.
“I didn’t do much wrong to be going out in the white-ball scheme of things. But I definitely believed that it was a zone where I needed to improve and achieve better things in terms of what I had. There is competition in terms of Chahal and Kuldeep who have done incredibly well in the last few months. Massive credit to them. But I do feel there will be a time for me at some stage. Because I didn’t go out on account of bad performances,” he told India Today.
“I’m always hopeful of what I can achieve in any given game. Like most of the others I believe I can crack a game open with the way I bowl because I’m a very brave bowler. Keeping all these things in mind, World Cup is something which every cricketer wants to play and I do want to play it. If there is an opportunity and a window and if it does come my way I will have to be extremely prepared and extremely humble about the whole situation to be able to take it with both hands. Which I think I find myself in that space today and if it presents itself and India needs it, then why not. I’m still hopeful of it,” he added.
Ashwin recently returned from England where he had a mixed Test series. The off-spinner is likely to be seen next in action during the home series against West Indies next month.