As the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 unfolds with much anticipation, the encounter between India and Pakistan at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium on October 14 is set to be a high-stakes showdown. The cricketing world is abuzz with discussions about the strategies and tactics shaping this pivotal clash. Renowned Indian cricketing legend Sunil Gavaskar has voiced his support for including Ravichandran Ashwin in India’s lineup for this match, hailing him as a tactically astute asset.
Sunil Gavaskar’s support for Ashwin stems from his belief that the off-spinner can be a formidable challenge to Pakistan’s middle-order batter, Saud Shakeel. This perspective is founded on Ashwin’s ability to create tactical advantages in the game, particularly when facing left-handed batters. Ashwin’s strategic prowess was evident in India’s inaugural match of the 2023 World Cup against Australia, where he secured a crucial wicket, further reinforcing his case for the upcoming clash against Pakistan.
Gavaskar stated, “I’ll pick Ashwin because there is Saud Shakeel in the side. He is in the middle order now and is the kind of player who can take Pakistan from a dire situation to a safer spot. He is the guy against whom you need a clever bowler.”
This insight emphasizes the critical role Ashwin can play in breaking partnerships and disrupting the opponent’s momentum.
Sunil Gavaskar highlights a key attribute in Ashwin’s game: his cunning as a bowler. Ashwin can keep the pressure on the opponent through skills and variations. His extensive experience in international cricket makes him a master tactician. Including Ashwin as a replacement for the injured Axar Patel is considered pivotal, adding a dynamic element to India’s bowling attack.
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Sunil Gavaskar’s endorsement of Ashwin extends beyond his bowling capabilities. Gavaskar acknowledges Ashwin’s value with the bat as well. He suggests that Ashwin could comfortably slot in at number 8 in the batting lineup, contributing vital late-inning runs.
“I’m not saying just because he is an off-spinner who will turn the ball against the left-hander, but Ashwin is clever. Ashwin tests you mentally as well. And I would want to have him on the team because he can keep the pressure. If needed at number 8, he can give you those 20-30 runs and have a partnership to make a difference,” Gavaskar added.