“Honestly, I was able to understand the thought process of Rohit Sharma” – R Ashwin on not getting to play the 2023 World Cup final
By SMCS - Nov 30, 2023 9:56 am
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Veteran India spinner R Ashwin has said that he does not have any bad feelings against Rohit Sharma for not getting to play in the final of World Cup 2023. Ashwin, while speaking to former India player S Badrinath on his YouTube channel said that he understood Rohit’s mindset before the final match against Australia. He also said that Rohit would have thought about the playing combination a hundred times, but did not have any reason to change that had done so well in the entire tournament.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma

“As far as I am concerned, I playing the final, team combination and all that is secondary. Firstly, it’s about empathy, I keep stressing it a lot. It’s about standing in someone else’s shoes and looking at things from his/her viewpoint. If I had been in Rohit’s shoes, I would have thought 100 times about changing the combination. It was going very well for the team. Why would I rest a fast bowler and play 3 spinners?” R Ashwin said.

Notably, R Ashwin played India’s opening match against Australia in Chennai and picked one wicket for 34 runs as well. He was benched after the first game but was in contention for the final match due to the slow nature of the wicket in Ahmedabad. Rohit Sharma, however, decided to go ahead with the same combination, which had done well 6 straight matches as well.

“Honestly, I was able to understand the thought process of Rohit Sharma. Playing the final is a big opportunity. I was preparing for it for 3 days in the lead-up. I was not replying to a lot of people. I read only the ticker of WhatsApp messages and kept my phone away,” R Ashwin again said. “I was preparing myself well for the opportunity. At the same time, I was prepared to cheer for the team and run in with electral if I didn’t get the opportunity. I was mentally prepared for that too.”

Team India
Team India

However, the spinner also opened up about the pitch controversy in the semi-final and final of the tournament. Ashwin also said that they did not ask pitches according to their preference, but both teams had their say on what surface they wanted to play as well. Ashwin further added that ground staff and ICC had the final call on the pitches as well.

“In the entire tournament, I can’t say that any team wanted pitches of their preference. I don’t think so. They had decided on surfaces to be played before. After that, the groundsmen took the call. When we played against Pakistan, the surface did not look that black. Maybe after that, the change in weather, the change in temperature, the surface had lost some grass. I don’t think it played like how it looked. The only differential factor was the moisture on the wicket in the evening. After the clay wicket took in the moisture, it got a lot better,” concluded R Ashwin.