It has been almost two weeks since India’s embarrassing defeat at the World Test Championship 2023 final, however, the wounds are still fresh, especially for the veteran bowler R Ashwin.
R Ashwin, who played an instrumental role in helping the Indian cricket team reach the WTC Final 2023, was ignored from the final playing XI for the marque event. He later had to watch his side go down by an emphatic margin of 209 runs as the Pat Cummins side emerged champions.
R Ashwin has remained India’s highest wicket-taker in the WTC final over the last two cycles. He picked 61 wickets in the recently-concluded WTC Cycle that helped him to claim the No.1 spot in ICC Test rankings among bowlers. His absence from the team was looked as one of the biggest reasons why India failed to win the WTC final in 2023.
The defeat prolonged India’s wait to win another ICC trophy as the team incurred a second successive defeat in a WTC Final 2023.
R Ashwin Hailed MS Dhoni For Trusting His Players
Meanwhile, recently on his YouTube show, R Ashwin talked about the social-media reactions aimed at the Indian team for losing yet another chance to end the ICC trophy drought. He started off by congratulating the Pat Cummins-led side. He said:
“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.”
He further explained that the reason behind Dhoni’s success was the sense of security he gave to the players in the squad that was picked. He said:
“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 the 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 throughout the year. That sense of security is very important for a player,”
This is not the first time that R Ashwin has talked about the ‘sense of security’ after WTC’s snub. Recently, in an interview with the Indian Express, he talked about the “overthinker” name tag given to him explaining that it was only natural for him to be “traumatized”. He said:
“A lot of people marketed me and positioned me that I am an overthinker. A person who will get 15-20 matches on the go doesn’t have to be mentally overthinking. A person who knows that they will get only two games will be traumatized and will be overthinking because it’s my job. It’s my journey. So this is what suits me. If somebody is going to tell me, ‘you’re going to play 15 matches, you will be looked after, you will be this, you are responsible for players, you are in the leadership role, I won’t be overthinking. Why would I?”