Senior India all-rounder R Ashwin has taken another cheeky dig at the Indian team management of captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid, citing the example of former skipper MS Dhoni‘s methods, for his exclusion in the WTC Final 2023.
India had plenty of reasons to pick Ravichandran Ashwin in the WTC Final against Australia at The Oval – Australia having 4 lefties in their top 7, Ashwin’s decent record in England, him being India’s best bowler in the WTC 2021/23 cycle, his having an upper hand of Smith and Labuschagne – but Rohit and Dravid looked at the overcast sky, a little bit of green on the surface, which in fact turned out dry underneath, and dropped him from the biggest Test match of all.
India went down to Australia by a big margin of 209 runs at The Oval, further extending their decade-long wait of an ICC title.
R Ashwin expressed lack of security under Rohit, Dravid
Taking to his YouTube channel, Ravichandran Ashwin gave the example of former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, saying how Dhoni used to keep his playing XI and squad of 15 intact for a long time and give his players consistent opportunities. It was the “sense of security” under Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ashwin said, that helped the players perform in big ICC knockout matches.
“It is understandable that there’s a furore in India that we haven’t won an ICC trophy in 10 years. I empathise with the fans. But the reaction on social media is that this player should be dropped and that player should be included. But quality of a player doesn’t change overnight. Lot of us talk about MS Dhoni’s leadership. What did he do? Ge kept it very simple. Under his regime, where I also played, he will pick a squad of 15. The same squad of 15 and the XI will play throughput the year. That sense of security is very important for a player,” Ravichandran Ashwin said on his YouTube channel.
He also congratulated Pat Cummins and his side for winning the WTC Final and the Test mace by thrashing India in the final.
“Congratulations Australia! It was a fantastic final and they completely deserve the win. There was a small advantage although as few players like Marnus Labuschagne played a couple of matches in county cricket. That was a small one because in a one-Test shootout you can’t really say who will do what, but they thoroughly deserved it. Even in the last WTC cycle, they missed qualifying for the finals only by a whisker. They have been a consistent Test team like India,” the off-spinner added.