R Ashwin was late inclusion to India’s World Cup squad© Twitter
The return of Ravichandran Ashwin to India’s ODI team was a big surprise for many. An injury to Axar Patel prompted the selectors to include Ashwin as a replacement, and the veteran off-spinner had the performances to justify his selection. After playing an important role in India’s victory over Australia in the team’s Cricket World Cup opener, Ashwin revealed the chat he had with skipper Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid before being included in the squad.
As soon as Axar got injured, Ashwin and Washington Sundar’s names were floated as potential replacements. It was the senior off-spinner who got the nod. Delving into the topic, Ashwin revealed that Dravid and Rohit had already given him a heads-up about the situation and said that they would come back for him if the need arose.
Jokingly, however, Ashwin told them ‘hope they never come back to him’.
“It was more like a Mayday call, I was chilling at home, played a couple of club games but Rohit and Rahul [Dravid] had told me that if there is a situation we will come back to you, I just told them jokingly that hope you never come back to me [smiles],” Ashwin said in a chat on Star Sports after the conclusion of the match against Australia in Chepauk.
Ashwin also gave his insights on the wicket at the venue, having played in Chennai for a long time during different phases of his career.
“I played a lot of cricket in Chennai. It is quite unlike Chennai’s pitch, with lots of cracks. You saw how Hazlewood and the Aussies bowled in the 2nd innings. We were actually a little concerned at how it would pan out. The crowd always gets behind us here. Thankfully we lost the toss and Jadeja was on a roll after he got the ball,” he said.
“It’s more than the pace, it’s difficult for the bowlers to bowl at a particular speed. It’s about getting the sidespin and overspin right, getting my body into position – all of these things. It’s about getting that right for me. For me it usually takes about 6-8 balls to get that right,” Ashwin added.
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