“The person who is taking my place is Ravindra Jadeja” – Ravichandran Ashwin
By SMCS - Mar 7, 2024 7:00 am
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Veteran Team India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has said that he has accepted the fact that he’s not the team’s first-choice spinner in overseas Tests. Saying that being dropped from the playing XI is disappointing, he also added that the fact that the person who is playing ahead of him is none other than another talented all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja. However, Ashwin, 37, will play in his landmark 100th Test when India play against England at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala in the fifth and final Test, which starts on Thursday, March 7 as well.

Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja scores an unbeaten century on Day 1

Despite being Team India’s second-leading wicket-taker of all time in the Test, Ravichandran Ashwin has missed a lot of overseas Tests in recent years, as Jadeja has been chosen over him. At a press conference ahead of his 100th Test, Ashwin did not hide his disappointment for this as well.

“The only way you can find an answer for that is if you had a time machine, me playing, and then whether the result would’ve been different. It’s always disappointing not to play a particular game for your country. When you know you’re bowling well and all that. Again, I would definitely make peace with it saying the team definitely took the decision in the best interest of the team,” Ashwin was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

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“I don’t think any captain or any coach really wants to leave out a player who is really of use in that particular game. From their perspective, they would have thought they made the best decision at that point of time. Even though you’re disappointed, you’ll have to come around the fact that it is a team game, and, sometimes, maybe, someone else will play that game,” he further added.

However, Ashwin again shared that Jadeja brings more value to the team as a batter in overseas conditions, where spin-bowling might not be
that play a key factor, unlike the sub-continent as well.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin surpassed the 500 wickets landmark

“Look, not a lot of teams around the world have what India has. The person who is taking my place is Ravindra Jadeja. He’s been batting pretty well, as you see (from) his averages with the bat. I think that’s where he outscored me in those games. The team believes that he’s been batting pretty well and bowling might not be that much of a factor because of the pitches we might play on in England and sometimes in South Africa. Yeah, so I’d say I’d make peace with that,” the veteran off-spinner again stated.

However, Ashwin averages 42.15 in 10 Tests in Australia, 28.11 in seven games in England and 49.63 from seven Tests in South Africa as well. He has only played one Test in New Zealand, where he picked up three wickets. The veteran off-spinner has claimed 35 five-fers in
Test cricket so far. While talking about his most memorable spells, he chose his 3-59 in the third innings at Edgbaston in 2018, and 4-
113 at Centurion in the same year, although both came in losing causes.

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“When you finish, it is Test wins that stand really tall. But having given it a lot of thought, one of the finest spells I have bowled has to be the one in Birmingham in 2018.”I got three wickets on the morning of day three. I got Cook, Root and Jennings. I got seven wickets in the game. I felt like I had almost bowled India to victory in the game, but it didn’t happen. That has to be one of the finest spells I have bowled,” he said.

“A Test in Bangalore where I bowled a spell on day-two morning not for many rewards. And day one at Centurion in 2018 again against South Africa. I got a four-for. It could have been six or seven but it didn’t happen. That was a good spell.”Those are three spells that will stand out. There are several five-fors and wins that have happened over the years, but these are the spells I will remember for how [the ball] came out of the hand, what it meant personally,” Ravichandran Ashwin concluded.