With the ODI World Cup 2023 just around the corner, the exclusion of veteran all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin from India's squad has stirred discussions and opinions within the cricketing world. As the tournament gears up for its October 5 start, the absence of Ashwin has left many cricket enthusiasts surprised.
The BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) recently unveiled India's World Cup squad, and it notably lacked the seasoned presence of Ravichandran Ashwin, a player known for his spin prowess and match-winning abilities. This development prompted several individuals, including former Sri Lankan cricketer Arjuna Ranatunga, to express their views on Ashwin's omission.
Ranatunga, in a column for the Indian Express, shared his perspective on why Ashwin should have been part of India's World Cup squad. Drawing comparisons with teams like Pakistan and England, Ranatunga emphasized the importance of having dedicated spinners in the squad.
India need a proper spinner like Ravichandran Ashwin in the World Cup: Arjuna Ranatunga
“You take Pakistan and England, they have proper spinners. So that is something I’m sure India will address before the World Cup. They are looking more at the all-rounders like Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel, but I personally feel that they should have someone like R Ashwin in the squad, if not in the XI,” wrote Arjuna Ranatunga.
Rohit Sharma said in PC," The reason for bringing Ashwin back in ODI is simple that he has a lot of experience and the fact that he’s been playing cricket consistently, maybe not in ODIs, but in other formats". pic.twitter.com/Yu2TWAOdUr— Vishal. (@SPORTYVISHAL) September 19, 2023
Ranatunga didn't stop there; he went on to laud Ashwin's match-winning capabilities. Despite his slower pace and fielding limitations, Ranatunga believes that Ashwin possesses the potential to be a serial match-winner for India, particularly in challenging situations.
“When he plays, he can be a match-winner for you. He may be slightly older, and he might be slightly slow on the field, but you need guys in the subcontinent who can contain and can take wickets. Sides that want to win most of the games, they do so by taking wickets and for that you need to have a balanced all-round attack,” Ranatunga elaborated.
As the cricketing world eagerly anticipates the commencement of the ODI World Cup 2023, the debate surrounding Ashwin's exclusion continues to brew. Fans and experts alike will closely observe how India's chosen squad performs in this marquee event, with Ashwin's absence remaining a topic of discussion and intrigue.