Veteran leg-spinner Amit Mishra emphasized that Ashwin’s ODI comeback would involve assessing his wicket-taking abilities through a demanding role of bowling 10 overs and fielding for 40 in the Australia series.

Ravichandran Ashwin’s return to the ODI format has sparked significant discussions within the Indian cricket community. The seasoned off-spinner, stepping in for the injured Axar Patel in the first two matches of the Australia series beginning in Mohali this Friday, marks his comeback after an absence of 20 months. Remarkably, he has participated in only two ODIs over the past six years, the last being against South Africa in January 2022.

Simultaneously, the cricket board has chosen to maintain all-rounder Washington Sundar’s place in the squad, who had previously replaced Axar during the Asia Cup 2023 final.

Amidst the cricket community’s divided opinions on Ravichandran Ashwin’s ODI return, veteran Indian leg-spinner Amit Mishra shed light on the reasons behind his extended absence from the format. Mishra, who serves as an expert for broadcasters JioCinema & Sports18, explained that Ashwin’s bowling prowess was never in question.

“The Indian team will be looking at how Ashwin will be bowling against Australia, and to assess if he still has the wicket-taking abilities in this format. The only reason why he is not in the team is because of his fielding and right-handed batting ability,” said Mishra to Hindustan Times.

“Jadeja and Axar are both lefties. Washington is a young player and has shown wicket-taking abilities apart from being a batting option. Plus, he provides an advantage with his fielding, something which holds importance in ODIs,” he added.

Amit Mishra further underlined the rigorous test awaiting Ravichandran Ashwin in the Australia series, as he’ll shoulder the responsibility of delivering 10 overs and participating in 40 overs of fielding. Mishra also acknowledged Ashwin’s undeniable quality as a wicket-taking bowler but stressed that ODI cricket requires a comprehensive skill set, including batting and fielding.

“Ashwin is undoubtedly a quality bowler and a wicket-taker, but remember this is not a 20-over game. It is 50 overs. You have to bowl for 10 overs and field for 40 overs and might have to bat as well. No doubt he has been around for so long and has been a wicket-taker as well, but there is that matter of fielding as well and that is why a young player might be picked. The only reason he has been picked is because if a spinner gets injured, then the team needs to have a wicket-taking option, which Ashwin brings. Ashwin has got an edge as an off-spin option, as India already has two left-arm spinners and a wrist-spinner in Kuldeep Yadav,” he added.

Last Updated on September 21, 2023

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