'Why did they promote Axar?': Ashwin slams ‘harsh’ critics of Rohit, Dravid for Suryakumar Yadav move in 3rd ODI
Ravichandran Ashwin stood by Suryakumar Yadav and India's decision to shuffle the batting order. He hit back at the experts for the "very harsh" criticism and said expecting India to win all the time is illogical.
India captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid have coped with heavy criticism from fans and experts alike for persisting with Suryakumar Yadav who registered an unwanted world record of scoring a hat-trick of first-ball ducks in three-match ODI series against Australia. Moreover, their decision to promote Axar Patel and KL Rahul ahead of Surya in the third ODI in Chennai also did not pan out as planned. India lost the match by 21 runs and conceded the series 2-1 despite taking a 1-0 lead. Ever since the voices to drop Suryakumar Yadav and include Sanju Samson in the ODI set-up have got louder. Now that Shreyas Iyer is out for an uncertain period due to a back injury, has opened up a void in India's middle order.
Ravichandran Ashwin, however, stood by Suryakumar Yadav and India's decision to shuffle the batting order. He hit back at the experts for the "very harsh" criticism and said expecting India to win all the time is illogical.
"Shreyas Iyer's injury meant we did not have a stable No.4 in the Australia series. His injury opened up opportunities for Suryakumar Yadav. He had an interesting series, he played three balls and got three ducks. Immediately there are so many questions on whether he should play ODI cricket, blah blah blah. Since India lost, these questions multiplied. There is not too much to read into it.
Also Read | 'If you try to save someone, this game will kill you more': Jadeja bashes Dravid, Rohit for Suryakumar's failure
"There is almost a compulsion that India should always win. There is an opinion that India is the strongest team. We are a strong team, no doubt about that but somewhere down the line, we assume ourselves to be invincible. So the feedback coming from the public sometimes can be harsh. Even experts are very harsh with their criticisms these days.
"It will not give any balance to the cricketer or the management. When we won the 2011 World Cup, the stability we had in the team was the main reason. I feel we ourselves are bringing the stability down. Experts should know what is a valid time. They have played the game so they would know," Ashwin said on his YouTube channel.
Ashwin also defended Rohit and Dravid's call of sending Axar ahead of Surya. The veteran off-spinner said the idea of sending a left-hander at the point was to negate the threat of Australia's spinners Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar. But unfortunately, Axar got run out
"Surya came down the order, Axar was promoted and KL Rahul batted at No.4, that was the talking point of the game. Please look at Australia's batting order consistently. When Maxwell returns that's how they will use them as well. Because they are players who can create impact. Suryakumar Yadav is also one such player. He plays spin really well. Australia won that's why it didn't become a talking point but Marnus Labuschagne who bats at No.4 had to bat at No.5 because of David Warner. If they had lost the game, these questions would have been asked. It's decided based on the situation of the game, it's a hunch call.
"Why did they promote Axar? If they promoted Axar and he negated Zampa and Agar by taking them for 35 or 50 runs in 10 overs then the game was in India's bag. So the intent was right but the run-out happened. The outcome wasn't right," Ashwin added.