Former India selector MSK Prasad has voiced his belief in the potential impact of Ravichandran Ashwin's return to the ODI team, suggesting that the seasoned spinner could provide valuable support in the upcoming Asia Cup 2023 and the subsequent ICC ODI World Cup 2023.
Prasad underlined Ashwin's potential effectiveness against lineups featuring an abundance of left-handed batters, such as Australia's. He highlighted the spinner's positive mindset and his suitability for the spin-friendly conditions of Sri Lanka and India.
Ashwin could be a force to be reckoned with in Asian conditions
Expressing his thoughts during a conversation with Star Sports, MSK Prasad stated, “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 are filled with left-handers, we have seen that. Ashwin will definitely be useful because he is also in the best state of mind also. He can be handy, especially when you are playing in Sri Lanka and India.”
Ravichandran Ashwin has been a constant presence in India's Test lineup for numerous years, yet his involvement in limited-overs cricket has been more sporadic.
Although entrusted to lead the spin attack during the T20 World Cup in 2021, his place in the team waned post the event. Ashwin's last ODI appearance dates back to January 2021 against South Africa.
As far as Ashwin's ODI numbers go, the seasoned veteran has picked up 151 wickets in 113 matches, at 33.49 runs a piece. His best performance came in the 2015 World Cup in Australia, when he registered figures of 4/25 against UAE in Perth.
Ravi Shastri talks about Jasprit Bumrah's importance.
Meanwhile, former India head coach Ravi Shastri highlighted the importance of star pacer Jasprit Bumrah's fitness evaluation during the upcoming three-match T20I series against Ireland. Shastri stressed that assessing Bumrah's fitness extends beyond his net bowling performances.
Shastri elaborated, “You will only know if he is fully fit when you see him playing in matches. That's when you get a fair idea. No amount of bowling in the nets is going to tell you how fit a player is. There's one thing called net fitness, and there's one thing called match fitness. So these three games become very important for Jasprit.”
Bumrah's return from a back injury is eagerly anticipated, as he readies himself for the T20I series against Ireland, where he will lead the second-string Indian side. The opening match of the series is scheduled for Friday, August 18, in Dublin.
All eyes are on Bumrah's performance, as cricket enthusiasts look forward to his contribution and the potential boost he can bring to the Indian team's bowling prowess.