‘My Overseas Record Speaks…….’ Ashwin Breaks His Silence Over His Omission From WTC Final

Star Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has spoken out about his exclusion from the Indian playing XI during the World Test Championship (WTC) final against Australia. Despite his consistent performances, Ashwin was benched in favor of seam all-rounder Shardul Thakur. The decision drew criticism from former cricketers, who deemed it a tactical blunder. However, Ashwin considers it a mere stumbling block in his career and remains determined to bounce back.

Reflecting on the WTC final, Ashwin expressed his desire to have played a role in the match, considering his contributions throughout the tournament. In the previous final, he showcased an impressive performance, claiming four wickets and playing a crucial part in India’s journey to the final. Furthermore, Ashwin highlighted his exceptional overseas record since 2018, wherein he played a pivotal role in securing victories for the team.

“For me, it’s not a setback. It’s just a stumbling block, I’ll move on because I have gone through that. When somebody knocks you down for the first time, you have a knee-jerk reaction. I think you should be knocked down once in a while along your life so that you are used to it and will know how to bounce back.,” Ashwin told the Indian Express and Hindu.

“I would have loved to play because I have played a part in us getting there. Even in the last final I got four wickets and bowled really well. Ever since 2018-19, my bowling overseas has been fantastic and I have managed to win games for the team. I am looking at it as a captain or coach and I’m just talking in hindsight, in their defence. So the last time when we were in England, it was 2-2 with a drawn Test and they would have felt four pacers and one spinner is the combination in England. That is what they might have thought going into the final,” he added.

Despite his notable performances and consistency, Ashwin has faced similar omissions in the past. He was overlooked for the five-match away Test series against England in 2021-22, with Shardul Thakur and Ishant Sharma getting the nod ahead of him. Nevertheless, Ashwin showcased his prowess in the last WTC cycle, finishing as the third-highest wicket-taker with 61 scalps in 13 matches.

Ashwin’s exceptional record in SENA countries (South Africa, England, New Zealand, and Australia) cannot be ignored. Particularly in England, where he boasts the best average among these nations, he has claimed 18 wickets in 11 innings at an average of 28.11. Despite his impressive statistics, Ashwin has struggled to find a place in the playing XI due to the team management’s preferred combination.

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