Dinesh Karthik revealed that the Indian team management first contacted the veteran Ravichandran Ashwin to play in the Asia Cup 2023 Final as a replacement for Axar Patel. However, Ashwin felt that he was not match-ready, so the team management called Washington Sundar to Sri Lanka as well. It happened as Axar Patel, India’s spin-bowling all-rounder got hurt during the last game of the Super Fours round against Bangladesh and was eventually ruled out of the final against Sri Lanka.
“Rohit (Sharma), Ajit (Agarkar) and Rahul Dravid actually called up R Ashwin first for the Asia Cup Final. I think they had a conversation and Ashwin felt he was not match ready yet. So he said that, ‘It’s better I don’t come for this game’,” Dinesh Karthik said on Cricbuzz Live.
However, After Ravichandran Ashwin was not ready for the final, the next option available was the young Washington Sundar. He was prepping up for the Asian Games at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru and then travelled to Sri Lanka for the all-important final. Meanwhile, Dinesh Karthik shared that Sundar had been playing local tournaments in Chennai, which is why he was match-ready. Since he was at the NCA preparing for the Asian Games, the Indian team management picked him.
“Washington Sundar had been playing local games in Chennai, and he had been in NCA preparing (for Asian Games). So they sent Washingon Sundar for that one game. By then, Ashwin played a couple of local club matches, and you know, they picked him. That was the whole conversation,” Dinesh Karthik concluded.