Former player Dinesh Karthik reveals the reason for Ashwin being the first choice for the Asia Cup finals.
Reason for Ashwin called up first for Asia Cup
India is scheduled to play a three-match ODI series against Australia starting from September 22. With the senior players like Virat and Rohit rested for the first two matches, KL Rahul will be leading the side. On this occasion, the injury of Axar Patel on the shoulder during the Asia Cup campaign made him be rested in the ODI series against Australia.
Washington Sundar replaced Axar in the final match of the Asia Cup where India beat Sri Lanka to extend its record with the most Asia Cup titles. Ravichandran Ashwin was originally the pick for the replacement for Axar Patel, but he wasn’t ready for the game.
Hence the team management went up for Washington Sundar for the replacement. He continued to remain part of the squad against Australia, but Ashwin was picked for the first ODI.
However, Dinesh Karthik revealed why Ashwin was the first choice for the ODI series. He stated that India management approached Ashwin before Sundar, but he was not ready.
“With a little inside information I know, I’ll end up defending Rohit, Ajit, and Rahul Dravid here. They actually called up R Ashwin first at the Asia Cup final. They had a conversation and Ashwin felt he wasn’t match ready yet. So, he said it’s better if I don’t come to this game, because Washington was playing. He was playing in local tournaments in Chennai and he was in NCA. So, they sent Sundar for that one game,”
“Then, Ashwin played a couple of local club matches, and then, they picked him. That was the whole conversation. Their first choice at that point as well was Ashwin. I understand Washington could’ve been misled a bit, but they choose Ashwin first.”
The BCCI confirmed that the off-spinner was kept in by the board since the test series against West Indies.
“I came back from the West Indies, took a break, played in a few club games. The team management kept me in the loop, whenever they said there could be a chance. Stay ready, just in case. I was touching base with my fitness, started bowling a few sessions,” Ashwin said.
India is scheduled to play their first ODI against Australia on September 22 at Punjab Cricket Association Stadium. The match started with India winning the toss and opt to bowl.