‘Ash­win must be a cer­tainty when­ever In­dia play Tests’

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Sport -

Visakhapat­nam: For­mer In­dia skip­per Su­nil Gavaskar on Fri­day crit­i­cised the In­dian team man­age­ment for their treat­ment of ace off-spin­ner Ravichan­dran Ash­win, who has been in and out of the Test play­ing XI in the last two years.

Ac­cord­ing to the leg­endary In­dian bats­man, Ash­win should al­ways be cer­tainty when­ever In­dia play Test cricket. “Ash­win should be a cer­tainty. The fact that he has not been made to feel the com­fort level is the rea­son why we are see­ing him strug­gle a lit­tle bit,” Gavaskar told the of­fi­cial broad­caster af­ter the end of first ses­sion on Day 3.

“He has also got to feel he has got the con­fi­dence of the peo­ple around him. When you don’t have the con­fi­dence of peo­ple around you, when you keep get­ting side­lined then you try a lit­tle too hard,” he added.

Ash­win has been a reg­u­lar fea­ture of the In­dian Test XI when­ever the team plays at home. How­ever, his po­si­tion in away Tests has not been cer­tain. Ac­cord­ing to Gavaskar, the 33-year-old has been a vic­tim of com­par­isons when­ever the In­dian team plays in over­seas con­di­tions.

“I think, there is al­ways these lit­tle com­par­isons he suf­fers from. When play­ing in Aus­tralia, he is com­pared to Nathan Lyon. He is do­ing that do­ing this. But Lyon is bowl­ing to the In­dian bats­men. Sim­i­larly, in Eng­land, when Moeen Ali got 6 or 7 wick­ets, you say he didn’t get any wick­ets. It can hap­pen,” said the leg­endary In­dian bats­man.

“I think there is more to it than just crick­et­ing per­for­mances, which is the rea­son he just finds him­self side­lined more of­ten than some­body with his record should be. Some­body who has got al­most 350 wick­ets can’t be side­lined as reg­u­larly as he has been,” he added.

Five-wicket hauls by Ravichan­dran Ash­win in 66 Tests, the sec­ond-high­est by an In­dian bowler be­hind Anil Kum­ble’s 35 in 132 Tests.

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