‘Leader’ Ravichandran Ashwin still valuable in all formats: VVS Laxman
VVS Laxman believes Ravichandran Ashwin is still an integral part of the Indian cricket team in all three formats, despite the leading off-spinner being rested for the limited overs series against Sri Lanka and Australia.india vs australia 2017 Updated: Sep 12, 2017 23:32 IST
VVS Laxman believes Ravichandran Ashwin is still a key member for India in all three formats and his leadership will be an added boost. The former India batting stalwart believes India’s leading Test bowler will be determined to return with a bang when he is recalled to the ODI side.
Ashwin, 30, and Ravindra Jadeja were rested for the limited-overs series in Sri Lanka where wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal and left-arm Axar Patel did well. The duo has also been rested for the limited-overs series against Australia, raising doubts whether the team management is looking beyond them. This despite chief selector, MSK Prasad, pointing to a rotation policy.
TEST, ODI FORM
“Ashwin, the way he has had success in Tests, the success has not been the same in one-dayers,” Laxman told Hindustan Times on the sidelines of a promotional event of STAR India.
“But having said that, over the last two years he has not been a regular member of the ODI side. That is why it is very tough to judge a player’s performance, if he is not given a long rope.
“But I still feel Ashwin is a very valuable player in all the three formats. He is someone who is a leader, and I always respect players who not only do well, but are also leaders within the group, and that is what Ashwin is.
“I believe he will be waiting for his chance, whenever he gets it, to prove a point.”
Earlier, in a media interaction, Laxman said Ashwin, now playing for Worcestershire in the English County, must have received a clear message from the selectors. “They could have told Ashwin and Jadeja, to give the youngsters opportunity. Especially, after the Champions Trophy (Ashwin and Jadeja didn’t take a wicket in the final defeat against Pakistan) to give two wonderfully talented wrist spinners the chance.”
Ajinkya Rahane is in the squad, but got to play only in the final ODI after Shikhar Dhawan flew home to be with his ailing mother. Laxman said: “Rahane is a leader within the group. He captained brilliantly in Dharamsala (in the fourth Test win over Australia). He was Man-of-the-Series in the West Indies. Rahane has more often than not played in ODIs as an opener. But he is in the mix.”
While India experiment with batting spots, skipper Virat Kohli has gone on without a break. In Sri Lanka, he scored back-to-back ODI centuries in sapping heat and admitted it was tough. He then struggled through to a match-winning 82 not out in the one-off T20.
The only break Kohli has had in a while was sitting out the final Test against Australia at Dharamsala in March due to a shoulder injury, which also forced him to miss part of the IPL.
“Virat is someone who loves the challenge. He has got lot of pride in his game and in leading this team. I’m sure the selection committee, team management and Virat himself will have a clear idea on when to take a break. It is also important for him, not only him but when someone plays all three formats, to be very smart. You don’t want to get injured at the wrong time,” Laxman said in the interview.