While the Indian cricket team has come under the scanner for their recent off-field incidents, another new controversy irrupted when veteran off-spinner R Ashwin commented that he was “crushed” after former head coach Ravi Shastri claimed Kuldeep Yadav as Indian’s no.1 spinner in overseas condition. And, days after Ashwin’s interview, Shastri has shared his thoughts on it.
Shastri while speaking to The Indian Express has said that he was just sharing facts and as a head coach his job was not at all to butter everyone’s toast. He also said that R Ashwin was not part of the Sydney Test and Kuldeep Yadav bowled brilliantly, so applauding the youngster was fair enough.
“Ashwin did not play the Test in Sydney and Kuldeep bowled well. So it’s fair I give Kuldeep a chance. If that hurt Ashwin, I am very happy. It made him do something different,” said the veteran.
In a recent interview with ESPNcricinfo, R Ashwin has recalled incidents from India’s tour of Australia way back in 2018-19 where Kuldeep had taken a fifer in Sydney. And, India made history by registering their maiden Test series win against Australia at their backyard, winning the four-match series 2-1 as well. There Shastri branded Kuldeep as “India’s No. 1 overseas spinner”.
While sharing his thoughts on the coach’s comments, Ashwin said: “In that moment, I felt crushed. Absolutely crushed,” before adding he felt like being thrown “under the bus”. Speaking more on this, Ravi Shastri has said that his words actually helped R Ashwin work on his fitness, saying that his current sublime form is the result of it as well.
“My job is not to butter everyone’s toast. My job is to state facts without agenda. The way Ashwin bowled in 2019 and the way he has bowled in 2021 is chalk and cheese. About throwing Ashwin under the bus, he need not worry because I had told the bus driver to stop 2-3 feet short. The message to Ashwin in 2018 was that he had to be fit. He has worked on that and look how’s bowling now. He’s world-class,” Ravi Shastri concluded.
Meanwhile, he also named two players who could lead the team in the future. According to Shastri, KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer can lead India in the future as well. “Rahul Dravid knows his job. All I want to say to him is enjoy. KL Rahul is there, Shreyas Iyer has good leading qualities in the future especially in white-ball cricket,” Shastri shared.