‘What does Ashwin bring with the bat, or as fielder?’: Yuvraj minces no words | Cricket

Yuvraj Singh has passed a bold verdict on Ravichandran Ashwin’s white-ball career, declaring the 37-year-old spinner as unworthy of playing ODIs and T20Is. Ashwin’s limited-overs run has been a roller-coaster ride, first losing his place to Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal in 2017 and since making sporadic appearances for one or the other tournament. Ashwin last featured in the 2023 World Cup for India as a last-minute replacement for the injured Axar Patel, but surprisingly featured in just one match, picking 1/34 against Australia in Chennai.

Yuvraj Singh has passed a bold verdict on Ravichandran Ashwin(PTI-Getty)

With the Indian team making it crystal clear that it’s priority for the lower order is to include more bowlers who can bat, Ashwin, despite scoring five Test centuries, doesn’t warrant a place in either the ODI or the T20I side as per Yuvraj, who has pointed fingers at the veteran’s batting and fielding contributions.

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“Ashwin is a great bowler but I don’t think he deserves a place in ODIs and T20s. He is very good with the ball, but what does he bring with the bat? Or as a fielder? In the Test team, yes, he should be there. But in white-ball cricket, I don’t think he deserves a place,” Yuvraj, a two-time World Cup winner, told Times of India.

Ashwin’s fluctuating ODI and T20Is fortunes

Between 2011 and the beginning of 2017, Ashwin was an indispensable part of the Indian white-ball set-up. With 156 wickets in 116 ODIs and 72 strikes from 65 T20Is, isn’t bad. But when Virat Kohli was captain, he got left behind in the pecking order due to the emergence of ‘Kul-Cha’. Even when Kuldeep and Chahal started to fade, India never actively went back to Ashwin; however, when it comes to World Cups, Ashwin emerges out of the blue.

At the 2021 T20 World Cup in the UAE, Ashwin got the nod over Chahal, and after missing the games against Pakistan and New Zealand, he played against Afghanistan, Scotland and Namibia before playing the NZ T20Is at home. Ashwin was suddenly given a slightly longer run in T20Is between November of 2021 and 2022, playing 19 matches, including six games at the World Cup in Australia. He was dropped thereafter and hasn’t returned in the shortest-format for India since.

Ashwin’s ODI tale in the last seven years is even more fascinating. After 2017, Ashwin was called back for the ODIs against South Africa in January of 2022 before he disappeared again. And to no surprise, was back in time just ahead of the World Cup. After grabbing 3/41 against Australia in a high-scoring contest at Indore, the theory ‘Ashwin for World Cup’ started doing the rounds. With Axar grappling a quadriceps injury, Ashwin was back, just like that, in India’s quest to win the ultimate prize.

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