R Ashwin defends Indian management's decision to rest Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in ODIs against West Indies - Post
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R Ashwin defends Indian management’s decision to rest Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in ODIs against West Indies

Sports News

By India Today Sports Desk: Disappointed with the public reaction to Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli’s absence from the ODI series, star Indian off-spinner R Ashwin jumped to the defense of coach Rahul Dravid and his captain.

The star Indian spinner believes that some people are looking for reasons to blame the captain-coach duo without understanding the extent of the squad’s injuries at the moment. The decision to keep Kohli and Rohit on the bench in the year of the 50-over World Cup drew criticism from social media and a few former cricketers.

“So many players are recovering at the NCA. (Jasprit) Bumrah is back after a long break. Prasidh Krishna also made a return after an injury break. It seems that people are faulting team management just for the sake of it,” Ashwin said on his YouTube channel. The senior spinner said victory cannot be taken for granted in international cricket.

“Some (people) were shocked because we lost to a team that didn’t qualify for the World Cup. Many people think that India’s only job in international cricket is to win the World Cup. People think India are favourites to win the World Cup because of the IPL,” Ashwin said.

India won the series 2-1 despite losing the second ODI against the West Indies. England’s aggressive ‘Bazball’ style of play has taken the cricketing world by storm. However, Ashwin believes it will be difficult for India to employ such tactics because the team has entered a period of transition.

“We are playing Test cricket really well. But we will go through a transition very soon, and things won’t be easy during that phase,” he said.

Ashwin also cited the difference in sporting culture in India and England as another reason for the former not going the ‘Bazball’ way.

“Let us assume India is adopting Bazballâ€æ and assume a player throws his bat at everything like Harry Brook and gets out and we lose two Test matches. What will we do? Will we back the Bazball and the players? We will drop at least four players from our playing XI.”

“That’s how our culture has always been. It works for them (England) because their management is fully in sync with this style of play, their selectors back the players to play this way.”

“In fact, even their crowd and Test match-watching public are backing the team in this process. But we can’t do this,” the ace spinner said.

The ICC World Cup 2023 will be held in India across October and November and Ashwin appealed to fans to support the team, and stay away from negativity.

“Winning a world cup is not easy…just because we play a certain player or drop a certain player, we can’t win. All of us are hindsight kings. Hindsight doesn’t work here.”

“We have qualified for the semifinals of almost all major tournaments but on that day, we have not been good enough. Let us send them (to the WC) with a lot of positivity,” he said.

While discussing the Ashes series, in which England came back from a 2-0 deficit to tie the series at 2-2, Ashwin suggested that Australia may have been hampered by the injury-forced absence of veteran spinner Nathan Lyon.

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