“Australia is filled with left-handers and he will be useful…”: MSK Prasad Wants This Test Cricketer In Indian Team For 2023 ODI World Cup

Former Indian chief selector MSK Prasad has expressed his belief in the potential of discarded player Ravichandran Ashwin to significantly contribute to Team India’s success in the upcoming Asia Cup and ICC World Cup. While neighboring champions Pakistan have already unveiled their squad for the highly anticipated events, India is yet to finalize its team selection for the Asia Cup. With the challenges of the Asia Cup followed by the 50-over World Cup on the horizon, Prasad’s endorsement of Ashwin’s inclusion in the white-ball squad carries significant weight.

During his tenure as the chairman of BCCI’s senior selection committee from 2016 to 2020, Prasad has developed a strategic perspective on team composition. In light of the upcoming Asia Cup and World Cup, he suggests a white-ball wild card in the form of senior spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. Despite being excluded from India’s white-ball setup, Ashwin’s prowess and adaptability are qualities that Prasad believes can significantly benefit the team.

Prasad’s endorsement is rooted in Ashwin’s skill set, especially in Asian conditions. With many left-handed batters prevalent in opposing teams, Prasad considers Ashwin’s off-spinning abilities valuable. He points out that even teams like Australia, filled with left-handers, would pose a challenge that Ashwin could help counter. Prasad’s opinion is grounded in Ashwin’s solid mental state and ability to excel, particularly in Sri Lanka and India pitches.

“I still fancy Ravichandran Ashwin. You are playing in Asian conditions, and I think he is one guy who might be very handy with so many left-handers in the opposition right now. Australia is filled with left-handers; we have seen that. Ashwin will be useful because he is also in the best state of mind. He can be handy, especially when playing in Sri Lanka and India,” Prasad said.

Ravichandran Ashwin has proven to be indispensable to the Indian Test team, with his ability to turn matches in favor of India on home soil single-handedly. However, his contributions to white-ball cricket have often been overshadowed. Despite being overlooked in the ICC World Test Championship final and the away Test series against England due to India’s preference for a pace-heavy attack, Ashwin’s capabilities remain unquestionable.

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If Ashwin’s inclusion in the white-ball setup becomes a reality, it wouldn’t be the first time he returns as a valuable asset. His impressive performances in the Indian Premier League (IPL) earned him a spot in the 2021 T20 World Cup squad, marking his return to the T20I format after a hiatus. This underlines his versatility and adaptability to different forms, a characteristic that Prasad believes could bring a fresh dimension to India’s white-ball strategies.

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