Will pick Ashwin if I were to replace either Kuldeep or Chahal, says Gautam Gambhir
The Chennai bowler has been part of the Indian team in two 50-over World Cups – 2011 and 2015.
Updated - Feb 1, 2019 3:05 pm
Former India opener Gautam Gambhir thinks the inclusion of Ravichandran Ashwin in India’s squad for this year’s World Cup will be handy. Gambhir, who recently retired from the game, feels the off-spinner’s experience will help India in the mega event which will kick off in England on May 30. Ashwin though hasn’t played in the 50-over format since June 2017 and has been more regular in the Test side.
Gambhir, who played a vital knock of 97 in the final of the 2011 World Cup against Sri Lanka that India won, said if there was a chance to replace any of the wrist spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav – India’s lethal slow-bowling combination in the limited overs, he would go for the 32-year-old Ashwin. The Chennai bowler has been part of the Indian team in two 50-over World Cups – 2011 and 2015.
“He (Ashwin) can be considered for the World Cup team as he is a premier spinner who has 300 Test wickets to his name. So, for me, if I ever must replace a Kuldeep or Chahal, I will pick up Ashwin,” Gambhir was quoted as saying by Star Sports after India lost their fourth ODI to hosts New Zealand by 8 wickets in Hamilton on Thursday.
“Also, he has a great temperament and has played a major role in winning many tournament titles. So, that experience will come in handy,” the 37-year-old who last played his international game in 2016, said.
Ashwin has played 111 ODIs and has 150 scalps
Ashwin made his ODI debut against Sri Lanka in Harare, Zimbabwe, in 2010 and went on to play in 111 matches till 2017, claiming 150 wickets with the best figure of 4 for 25. He averages 32.91 in the format and has an economy rate of 2.84.
Ashwin was India’s main spinner along with Ravindra Jadeja till the arrival of the Kul-Cha pair and even though Jadeja has managed to find a place in the playing XI in the ODIs still, thanks to his all-round skills, Ashwin has not been so lucky. With the bat, Ashwin averages 16.07 with one fifty.