Baroda’s Mahesh Pithiya, who has earned a nickname as Ashwin Doppelganger, has done something that not many young, uncapped Indian local bowlers would have the gall to do: refusing a call-up from the Australian team to bowl to their batters in the nets ahead of the World Cup 2023 in India.
It has been learned that the Australian management had asked for the services of the 21-year-old Baroda’s off-spinner Mahesh Pithiya for the World Cup 2023 preparations. However, he refused to join them as he wanted to continue his work with the Baroda team ahead of the domestic season.
Pithiya revealed that as soon as the BCCI announced R Ashwin’s inclusion in their 15-man World Cup squad, replacing Axar Patel, his friend in the Australian management asked him to join the Australian team for a few nets sessions as their batters want to prepare better for the threat from Ashwin.
The Ashwin Doppelganger, Mahesh Pithiya was with Aus team for Border-Gavaskar Trophy
Mahesh Pithiya had been with the Australian team in the nets ahead of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy earlier this year in the series in India.
Ashwin is likely to play against Australia on October 8 in Chennai. So in order to prepare themselves for the off-spinner’s threat, the Aussie management rang up Pithiya once again. However, this time, the request was denied by the youngster.
“It was certainly an exciting offer, but then, I am also part of the Baroda set-up for the domestic season that begins next month. So, I thought about it, spoke to our coach and informed them that it won’t be possible for me to join the camp this time around,” Pithiya told Sportstar.
“As soon as the BCCI announced Ashwin as the replacement for Axar, I got the call. It is always exciting to work with international teams, but my priority is domestic cricket. I have come so far because of playing for Baroda and ahead of a long season, I thought I should focus on my game and not join the Australian team,” he added.